In wake of mass shooting, Richmond Police kickoff Operation Safe Summer to curb violence
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As the investigation into Tuesday’s mass shooting intensifies, Richmond Police are ramping up for a big weekend and summer.
“We are short-staffed. That’s not a secret right now. So we need all of our friends to pitch in, pull in the same direction so we can just do better for our city,” said Acting Chief Rick Edwards, Richmond Police Dept.
Acting Police Chief Rick Edwards is speaking about Operation Safe Summer.
It’s a state partnership he wanted back in the city to help fill the staffing gaps he’s facing. RPD is currently short more than 150 officers.
“We’re going to have our uniform officers partner uniform troopers. You should see them in cars together. You’ll have the black and white Richmond Police cars and the blue and gray Virginia State Police cars patrolling our city in those hot spots that I’ve talked about,” said Acting Chief Edwards.
Another big push this summer is gun safes.
“Obviously, the second amendment is a right, but it’s also a responsibility. We want folks to secure their weapons,” said Acting Chief Edwards.
The chief also says they plan to have detectives with Operation Red Ball work with the VSP special agents to follow up on potential threats and complaints.
“We just need to stop and put down the guns and just focusing on peace and lifting up every heart as possible,” said Mayor Levar Stoney, City of Richmond.
Another summer program, “Late Night Gym,” will give 15 to 20-year-olds something to do on Fridays and Saturdays at George Wythe High School and the Gill Center at Fairfield Elementary, focusing on curbing crime in the city’s south and east sides.
“We’re just looking for kids to have an opportunity to be kids as well in their communities, in their neighborhoods,” said Mayor Stoney.
Operation Safe Summer ends on Sept. 8, a few weeks after Richmond Public School students return for class on Aug. 21.
Copyright 2023 WWBT. All rights reserved.