Hampton Police Chief says violent crime up in 2016

Posted at 12:10 PM, Jan 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-05 18:19:59-05

HAMPTON, Va. - The city saw a 12% uptick of violence in 2016 and seven more homicides than 2015, according to Police Chief Terry Sult. In response, he's now doubling the number of officers on a task force meant to fight gun violence.

"If you want to take the life of being a bad guy, you make that choice, we're coming after you and we're going to hold you accountable," Chief Sult told reporters on Thursday afternoon.

Sult is fed up after a grandfather was randomly shot on Wednesday night in the parking lot of Bethel High School while teaching driving lessons. "That's completely unacceptable," he said.

Chief Sult also advocated for a regional gun processing center that would help police link cases where a gun is used. He also says the division will soon start a crime center with technology to help decrease response time. He says both Newport News and Hampton Police work together when crime happens near the cities' border.

The Newport News Police Chief held a similar briefing earlier in the morning.