Colonial Heights Police hold Celebrate Safe Communities night

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VA (WWBT) - Police were out in force in Colonial Heights, but for a positive reason. The city held its "Celebrate Safe Communities" night.

This was Colonial Heights version of "National Night Out". It was held this month because it's much cooler and coincides with Crime Prevention Month. 42 neighborhoods signed up to participate.

JB Crist fires up the grill in what has become a neighborhood tradition.

"We started doing it four years ago just cause we wanted to know who the neighbors were," said Crist.

That's the idea behind "Celebrate Safe Communities" in Colonial Heights. There's a lot to celebrate in the city of nearly 18,000. The last homicide investigation there was nearly five years ago this month.

Three people were murdered in the Conjurer's Neck subdivision. The suspect shot and killed by police. Sgt. Tom Kifer says they'll see such domestic violence from time to time, but not much in the way of neighborhood crime.

"A lot of crime is in the retail sector we're very fortunate that most of those crimes are non violent crimes," said Kifer.

Conjurer's Neck celebrated in grand style on this night. Residents say there's only one way in to the neighborhood unless by boat which they believe has kept down crime.

Kifer also credits the safe streets to a good relationship between police and residents.

"Our officers getting out into the neighborhood and getting the chance to meet people I think all of those things make a big difference," said Kifer.

Crist welcomes the police presence.

"Which is very comforting to know they're out patrolling the neighborhoods staying safe," said Crist.

Colonial Heights had been involved with National Night Out for many years, but had many requests especially from the senior community to hold its event in the fall rather than summer.

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