HAMPTON ROADS, Va - Law enforcement in various cities across Hampton Roads have seen an uptick in violence in the past several weeks, according to the FBI.
After the latest shooting on Maple Ave. in Portsmouth, News 3 sat down exclusively with Norfolk FBI Special Agent in Charge Brian Dugan to talk about the Safe Streets Task Force and what is being done to keep the public safe.
Special Agent Dugan said he is in constant communication with police chiefs in the region.
“Portsmouth is obviously dealing with the worst of it right now. That’s why we are working with them and other partners in the area to address how we can help,” said Dugan.
He said there are about 60 law enforcement officers who are part of two Safe Streets Task Forces in our region and are focused on fighting violent crimes and gangs.
Thirty officers are focused on the Peninsula, and there are about 30 on the Southside.
It’s funded by the Department of Justice and works as a partnership between state, federal and local law enforcement.
“It’s got to be a whole government approach. It’s got to be a team approach,” said Dugan.
He said he would never turn down officers who want to be part of the task force. However, he mentioned that recruiting is difficult with so many shortages in police departments across the region, as many of those officers are desperately needed on the streets.
Dugan said he is working to grow the task forces by getting more officers involved and making police chiefs understand they can get a return on their investment by sending officers to this particular training.
Dugan said law enforcement officers live and work in the region and want the safest communities, too.