After uptick in crime, Hopewell Mayor makes public plea to elected leaders

Uptick in crime, Hopewell mayor makes plea to elected leaders

Hopewell, Va. (WWBT) - The Mayor of Hopewell is making a public plea to elected leaders who won’t show up to important meetings to find solutions to big issues, including crime.

A recent uptick of shootings has residents on edge. After a community conversation earlier this year to help make changes, the mayor says very little has changed.

A Facebook Live video captured a Labor Day shooting in Hopewell. A man was walking near a church when neighbors say some eight gunshots rang out.

“He was laying on the ground. He was breathing when they left. They say he’s in critical condition at the hospital,” Dominic Holloway can be heard saying. It follows a double homicide in the city just last month. “It’s sad y’all. Come on, we’ve got to take our city back,” Holloway continued.

From January through August, there were 84 shootings in Hopewell that resulted in four people dying. Compare that to 2019 when there were 46 shootings and 1 fatality during the same time frame.

“I’ve been trying to focus on shootings in Hopewell since 2018,” said Mayor Jasmine Gore. She says there’s a major setback, elected leaders not showing up for special meetings, like the one scheduled Tuesday night. “We did not have enough members of council participate to be able to conduct the meeting…Some members purposely chose to not come,” she said.

Gore says it’s happened numerous times this year. That means no discussions and no votes to bring solutions.

NBC12 was there in January when the community gathered to bring ideas on how to curb crime. The ideas included more jobs, opportunities for youth and resources for those struggling to get on their feet.

“Really, truthfully, some of the things we discussed, we haven’t been acting on…People need opportunity here and just like the strategic plan and the other initiatives, they’re all holding on the agenda waiting on one more person to join us and say ‘yes’,” Gore said.

The police chief has an advisory group with about 15 neighbors participating. On top of that, two officers visit businesses and neighborhood watch meetings. Monday, Gore plans to hold a virtual town hall meeting with at least two other council members, the ones who tried to meet last night but couldn’t. More details, including a link to register, are coming soon.

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