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Norfolk Police chief details plans to deescalate gun violence

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Posted at 11:24 PM, Nov 11, 2021

NORFOLK, Va. - News 3 talks to the Norfolk Police chief about how to stop gun violence. Chief Larry Boone says he's taking ideas from big cities, and he's going to roll out solutions in the streets of Norfolk.

"It's been a very difficult 18 months in the City of Norfolk," Chief Boone says.

One of the main problems, Chief Boone says, is illegal guns in the hands of criminals.

"With the number of illegal handguns that are so readily accessible, it just makes it extremely difficult for law enforcement. We take handguns from folks almost every night. I’m not exaggerating - almost every night."

The latest homicide, which Chief Boone called a mass shooting, saw three women killed in a senseless act of violence in the Young Terrace neighborhood on November 3.

“Those folks that are pulling triggers, the suspects don’t seem to care whether the police are down the street, whether or not they lose their life. You can have all the strategies in the world, but if you cannot fix that mindset, you arrest them and arrest them quicker," Chief Boone said.

Bilal Muhammad with the Stop the Violence team is one of many at the forefront of the movement of deescalating violence in Norfolk, holding a community forum Saturday, bringing together the community and resources.

"They [the youth] are being influenced by a trend that lead them in a bad direction. As they sit around and wait for a better direction, they feel guns is the right direction, but we have to show them there is a better direction in life they should follow," Muhammad said.

"Folks like Mr. Muhammad, who’s been dedicated. You all have seen him pour his heart out over and over again," Chief Boone said.

Chief Boone says his solution is to roll out a plan that has worked in large cities.

"I am actively soliciting the assistance of some federal partners; Dr. [Chip] Filer [the city manager of Norfolk] as well as city council has some programs that we are going to be rolling out that has had success in other major cities. I’ll just leave it at this - we have an approach that will be new for Norfolk, new for the Hampton Roads region. We’re serious about this. Things we’ve done in the past weren’t working," Chief Boone said.

The Stop the Violence Community Forum is Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Kroc Center. It's aimed at stopping violence in its tracks.

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