New push to combat crime in Hopewell

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) – A new push to combat crime in underway in Hopewell. The police department is partnering with the redevelopment and housing authority to set-up mini police stations in targeted neighborhoods.

An officer will be assigned to each mini-station. Targeted areas include public housing districts.

"It's effective in reducing crime and increasing the livability in our city," said Hopewell Police Chief, Steve Martin.

Crime is a major concern for Della Banks.

"At night you hear a lot of gunshots. Then there's a lot of drugs being sold around here," said Banks.

Banks lives in one of the housing districts in the city. She's hopeful the new partnership between police and the redevelopment and housing authority will help eliminate illegal activity.

"I think it will make it a whole lot safer," said Banks.

As part of the partnership, drug detection dogs will be allowed in community areas.

Lights will also be added to certain neighborhoods.

"The chief and I are committed to changing the atmosphere in HRHA communities for the citizens who live here, said Steve Benham, Director of HRHA.

The partnership also calls for enhanced enforcement of trespass laws.

"We say to the criminals, the would be criminals, and those harboring criminals -- you're not wanted in our communities," said Benham.

Hopewell Police Department received two grants totaling nearly a half million dollars to fund the initiative. The grant money for the will last for 3 years. Police say they're hopeful they'll be able to extend the program beyond that time period.

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