NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – After a violent weekend in Hampton Roads, police are hoping community members will get involved.
The Norfolk Police Department is constantly working to stop violence and gang-related crimes. However, in the Gang Suppression Unit, things can be a little bit trickier.
Lieutenant Karen Alsup, NPD Gang Suppression Unit, said, “People get out of the gang, they re-enter the gang, new cliques form in particular neighborhoods.”
That’s why the Norfolk Police Department’s Gang Suppression Unit says the community is key to fighting gang-related crimes.
“It’s extremely important. The community are the eyes and ears,” said Alsup.
Alsup says the exact number of gangs in the city constantly fluctuates. But in the last year, police have arrested about 15 people connected to three to four gangs — gangs that are contributing to the majority of the violent crime in the city.
“It’s these few individuals throughout the pockets in the city that are making their lives difficult in their cities,” said Alsup. “Children can’t play, those kind of things. They should pick up the phone, they should call us.”
There’s a group in Hampton Roads that’s getting involved.
“We want to get better as time goes on, we want to evolve and be a better community,” said Jay Poole, one of the founders Who’s on Duty.
Poole and Trevor Lucas created the group to bring people and other organizations together — all with the goal of improving their communities.
“When everybody jumps in and lends a hand, it makes you feel like I’m not alone,” said Trevor Lucas.
Last weekend, they held a cookout in Norfolk’s Tidewater gardens, showing the community that they’re there and ready to help.
“Individually, we can do a lot. but together I think we can change the world,” said Poole.
Click here to anonymously report gang activity in your area.