Virginia Beach police chief talks about guns, heroin in city

Posted at 11:33 PM, Oct 13, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-14 06:29:22-04

Virginia Beach, Va. - Chief Jim Cervera told city council members that guns and heroin are two big problems the police department is facing.

"It's very difficult for police officers in society today, and there's a lot more individuals who aren't afraid to use guns," Cervera said, noting a slight projected increase in aggravated assaults with guns. There have been 54 so far in 2015 compared to 64 in all of 2014.

Violent homicides are similar to last year, while robberies are down compared to year's past, according to numbers presented to council members.

"Things that we're seeing in Virginia Beach - we're seeing across the country," said Cervera. "It's just a sign of the times."

In an "alarming" stat, Cervera also briefed council on the growing number of heroin overdose deaths. Twenty-eight people died from heroin by September in the city, compared to ten in all of last year. Cervera says these cases take a lot of work on the department and said more officers investigating them could help reduce them.