New program to combat crime in Hopewell

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

HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) – Hopewell residents can expect to see more officers patrolling the streets this summer. It's all part of a new program to help fight crime.

It's called "Operation Safe Streets for Summer" -- an initiative many residents, including Latisa Lewis, hope will live up to its name.

Lewis says her home on Liberty Avenue has been broken into a dozen times in three years. Most recently, this week when someone tossed a rock threw her backdoor window in the middle of the night.

"They put their hands in the window once they broke the main door, took the deadbolt off, turned on the light and came in," said Lewis.

The thieves eventually ran off.

"I can't be at peace in my own home and I'm really tired of it," said Lewis.

Overall, major crime in Hopewell is up 14 percent compared to the same time period last year. To stop that number from rising, especially during the warmer months, the police department and commonwealth attorney's office have launched "Operation Safe Streets for Summer."

"It's a successful type of operation and I feel it's going to cut down drastically on the amount of criminal activity going on in the city," said Hopewell Commonwealth Attorney, Rick Newman.

Every Thursday through Sunday from ten o'clock at night until two in the morning additional officers will be patrolling the city.

"It's three units -- three unmarked units each one has a police officer and one state trooper. What they're doing is going to any hot spots in the city where criminal activity maybe going on," said Newman.

As for Lewis…

"I'm just tired of it. My satellite dish -- I had to change from Direct TV to Comcast because they kept vandalizing it," said Lewis.

She's hoping the program will give her peace of mind and better protection. The commonwealth's attorney says during the summer crime usually rises and that's why it was important to implement the new program now.

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