HAMPTON, Va. – Mayors, as well as city and county managers from across Hampton Roads, are preparing to come together this week to address ways to reduce gun violence.
The roundtable discussion is scheduled for Friday afternoon in Chesapeake. It will be hosted by the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission.
“I think it’s important for us as mayors to come together, and let’s find out what’s going on because what we had two weeks ago, it’s tragic and it’s something that’s not a good reflection on any of the cities or the region,” stated Hampton Mayor Donnie Tuck.
As for Hampton, he said the city is incorporating various techniques, including increased staffing at the Office of Youth and Young Adult Opportunities, funding for counselors that are reaching out to families experiencing challenges and hiring individuals who were formerly incarcerated and want to help make a positive difference.
“We’re trying to look at it holistically, realizing that it’s not something that you can solve by government. It’s not a problem we can arrest our way out of, but it takes a number of individuals providing input,” Mayor Tuck added.
Randy Bowman, owner of Bowman’s Soul-N-The Wall restaurant in Hampton, says he uses security measures like a camera system, as well as traditional methods like keeping an eye on neighboring businesses and contacting their owners if something seems unusual. Bowman is encouraged to hear city leaders are meeting to discuss safety.
“We have an excellent mayor, so I know he takes Hampton at heart,” Bowman said. “So right now, just a continuation of being vigilant and having police officers drive by, or like I said, stop into local businesses, maybe do some walks just to heighten the awareness that the police are involved in the community. I think that would help.”
News 3 will have a crew at Friday’s work session in Chesapeake.