VBPD begins community surveys to help improve neighborhoods

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — In an effort to build community trust, Virginia Beach police walked door-to-door Wednesday night to listen to residents’ concerns.

Neighbors in Lake Edward and Campus East say they feel safer than in years past — but there’s still room for more improvement.

Captain John Orr with Beach police says Lake Edward is an area that has problems with guns and drugs.

“A couple of months ago we had our cars rummaged through,” said resident Tobi Snyder.

About 50 officers checked in with neighbors, hearing them out and asking for ways they can improve.

“More police patrols being out here in the neighborhood with the kids out here and stuff,” one resident said.

Florence Smith has lived in Lake Edward for 47 years. She’s a retired teacher who’s heard from students who use guns to solve problems. She says more jobs and more activities for the youth could lead to a safer neighborhood.

“We do have two young men who have helped us out, done yard work for me, that kind of thing, that right now are serving in prison,” Smith said.

Orr says despite the troubles in the northwest part of the city, the situation has improved.

“We’ve seen a dramatic reduction in violent crime in this area, but what we also see is a lot of renters and a lot of people moving in and our constantly and when you have that transition, it becomes a challenge to find stability in the neighborhood,” he said. “It’s the community that’s now taking ownership and saying, ‘No this is not going to happen anymore.'”

Officers are planning to be out in the coming weeks at the following dates and times:

  • August 16 at 5:30 p.m. in the Fourth Precinct
  • September 13 at 5:30 p.m. in the Second Precinct
  • September 20 at 5:30 p.m. in the First Precinct

Find out which precinct you live in here.