VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - When addressing public concern about police presence at the Oceanfront after Friday night's string of incidents, Chief Neudigate said they are working to increase officers there. He added that his current plans are not long-term solutions because they are 100 officers short now. He said for example, those 100 officers could field a precinct based solely for Oceanfront operations.
Neudigate said they are not just down 100 officers though, he said they are probably 150 – 200 officers down in order to provide for a community this size.
The Chief said he has talked to city stakeholders for possible suggestions, but said Friday night, which was outside the normal busy season, where the normal staffing for police is six officers, they had doubled with 12 officers.
To put this is reference, Chief Neudigate said 12 officers were in this one zone and all others around Virginia Beach typically have one.
13 other officers were also in the area and had instructions to be visible at the Oceanfront when possible.
Chief Neudigate said it took 103 officers to respond to the Oceanfront to manage these three incidents.
Moving forward the Chief said that this weekend special operations personnel will supplement. 13 officers will be there with 15 more from special operations that will be 28 officers.
He added that the department will be trying to get more police presence with the use of overtime.
Beginning April 8 Chief Neudigate said they will incrementally add personnel at the Oceanfront and they will reallocate the percent of officers in different precincts.
Chief Neudigate said that they will also be trying two shift staffing. He said historically there has been three shifts at 8 hour days and this would be a 10 hour shift to put more officers on the street.
Last, the Chief thanked Virginia Beach Sheriff Ken Stolle. He said Stolle helped augment police at the Oceanfront and he has offered to step up to help with police visibility.