News 3 sits down with HPD Chief Mark Talbot on gun violence, school shootings, Codi Bigsby case

Police Chief Mark Talbot sworn in (July 9).PNG
Posted at 6:27 PM, May 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-25 18:33:32-04

HAMPTON, Va. - The News 3 I-team sat down with Hampton Police Chief Mark Talbot to talk about gun violence, Tuesday's mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas and the Codi Bigsby case.

When talking about gun violence across the county, Talbot said people need to do a better job of handling their emotions.

“Picking up a gun to solve a dispute is a ridiculous thing to do,” Talbot said. “Gun violence emanates from the same neighborhoods over and over again. It doesn’t spread itself evenly throughout any of our cities.”

Talbot said officers are rarely called to "the nice neighborhoods" for gun violence, saying that the department is usually called to the same areas where people are suffering and lacking resources.

He said when you see these areas, you can understand how a child grows up and then turns into offender.

“We need to be able to tell the difference between the people who simply need handcuffs and the majority of people who need opportunities, role models and somebody who seems to care about them. We need somebody who seems to care about about their suffering,” Talbot said.

Talbot also said the responsibility to fix the problem areas can’t solely fall on the police. He said there needs to be more care, financial help and resources for those who need it.

News 3 then asked the chief about the tragedy in Texas and other school shootings. Talbot said he believes this is becoming a deeply American phenomenon.

“We have to recognize that there are conditions here that are conducive to that," he said. "I think it’s important that we look at each one of those conditions and decide which one of those which ones we can do something about.”

Talbot said it's important for the Hampton Police Division to make sure that officers are training and working with local schools to make sure that planning and procedures are in place. He also said local schools need to do drills and identify people that may be suffering from some sort of mental health crisis.

He added that unfortunately, no one would be surprised to get a news alert about a mass shooting.

“We clearly haven’t decided that we’ve had enough of it. We haven’t made that decision because if we actually had enough, we would be having different conversations," he said.

News 3 also asked Talbot about the Codi Bigsby case. Four-year-old Codi was reported missing on January 31, 2022; his father Cory Bigsby is currently being held in jail on child neglect charges.

Talbot said based on the evidence HPD has, it is not looking for another suspect.

The Chief said he doesn’t want to speculate whether or not Codi is alive or not because he doesn’t know. But he said there is no evidence that he is alive.

Talbot offered his condolences to the Codi’s family. He also said that it has been a taxing case for many officers who have spent countless hours investigating and looking for the little boy.

He said the Hampton Police put an extreme amount of resources into this case and pulled many outside sources to help.

Talbot added that he believes the reason why the child hasn’t turned up is because people are not telling the truth about his whereabouts or what happened.