Hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money is being given to Norfolk, Newport News to fight crime

How should the money be used? What are the best strategies for crime prevention?
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Posted at 2:40 PM, Feb 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-08 18:26:57-05

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – City councils across Hampton Roads - including Portsmouth, Norfolk and Newport News - will be discussing crime prevention strategies and funding at their meetings on Tuesday night.

In Newport News, Dr. Steven Keener, director of Christopher Newport University’s Center for Crime, Equity and Justice Research and Policy, will talk to the council about the Center and the Community Violence Assessment they are undertaking for the city.

Keener told News 3 they will be putting out a survey later in February and hope to get as much public input as possible. He said they’ve already completed an assessment for Hampton and will present that on Wednesday.

Both Norfolk and Newport News are expected to discuss a $300,000 grant from the Office of the Attorney General allotted for community-based gun violence prevention activities.

Ruth Winters is a longtime Newport News resident. She leads a local chapter of Moms Demand Action, a grassroots organization fighting for public safety. It falls under a national organization called Everytown, which has a lot of research on strategies to reduce violent crime. Those strategies include street outreach programs, community-driven crime prevention through environmental design and hospital-based violence intervention programs.

Winters described the hospital-based programs that provide counseling.

“When people are affected by traumatic injury like gun violence and they show up at the hospital, they are at a vulnerable time. If you can get them hooked up with support, you can stop the cycle of them going back in the streets and them revenge killing, revenge shootings,” said Winters.

On the agenda for Norfolk is also a discussion of a gun buyback program.