NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Gun violence is a national issue that Hampton Roads knows all too well.
Newport News wants to take a community-based approach to understanding the violence.
The city has released a Community Assessment Survey. The purpose of the survey is to hear from residents and develop policies that enable city administration to implement new community-based programs and services that address gun violence.
“Gun violence is a public health crisis that affects communities across the nation,” said Newport News Mayor McKinley L. Price. “It is imperative that residents take the time to respond to the survey. The feedback we receive will be integral in our efforts to provide immediate interventions and long-term prevention strategies that address gun violence in our city.”
Newport News residents of all ages are asked to respond to the 36-question survey. The survey allows residents to share their thoughts on safety in the city, experiences with crime, perceptions of causal factors of crime, their input on police, and experiences with discrimination.
Respondents will also be asked to share their everyday concerns and challenges they face, as well as the city resources they utilize and what they feel is lacking. The survey should take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.
“One life lost to gun violence is one too many,” said Mayor Price. “This effort will be a tremendous benefit to city leadership, as we propose public policy and implement strategies that address gun violence and save lives.”
The city will use the responses to create a strategy for addressing gun violence. The city says its goal is to invest in groups that create safe and stronger neighborhoods.
Community organizations are invited to provide their contact information and a brief description of their efforts on the Community Safety Initiative webpage. When the grant application is available, the city will send them an email.
Newport News contracted with the Center for Crime, Equity, and Justice Research and Policy at Christopher Newport University. The city received a $25,000 Youth and Gang Violence Community Assessment grant from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to conduct an assessment.
The survey can be found online. To ensure everyone has the opportunity for their voices to be heard, print copies of the survey are available at all Newport News Public Library branches and community centers.