Hampton Roads, Va. – A group in is taking action against crime in Hampton Roads by patrolling the streets in the area.
By day he’s Jason Reibold.
“I’m a single father,” Reibold says. “I have a two and a half year old son. Apple of my eye.”
By night, he goes by Ira O’Reilly. And Ira travels with a group. Exemplar, the Death’s Head Moth, Spanner, and Valcura are the others. Together they are the Virginia Initiative, fighting crime and patrolling the streets of the Seven Cities.
The Virginia team is just one of eight Initiative Collective volunteer branches of the organization across the country.
“You don’t have to have a utility belt and spandex,” Reibold says. “Anybody can do it.”
Despite the superhero- like names, Reibold says the five members try to steer clear of being called vigilantes or superheroes. They prefer to be called a group of activists.
“When you bring up words like vigilante and superhero or militia, those carry very negative connotations,” he says.
Reibold says they don’t carry any weapons or wear flashy outfits while out patrolling or helping those in need.
For the past few years, Reibold says the team has assisted police several times after seeing a crime in action, whether that means calling 911 or even stepping in if needed.
“If you are capable of getting in the middle of a situation and stopping it without causing any loss of life, then we will, if that’s what it’s going to take,” Reibold says. “If that’s going to save a life then that’s what we do.”
But with only five on the team patrolling all of Hampton Roads, Reibold says more are needed in their fight against crime.
“We’re just average citizens,” Reibold says. “We’re regular people that are trying to do good. You can do the same thing.”
The Collective Initiative is also in the process of filming a documentary, some of which will be filmed in Hampton Roads, later this summer.