Police and community advocates gather to prevent youth and gang violence in Newport News

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Youth and gang violence has become a growing problem in Newport News. In order to prevent the violence, police and community advocates are stepping in.

Building Better Futures, the city’s youth and gang violence prevention initiative, is holding two Community Engagement sessions to gather feedback and support from residents for the development of a 3-5 year strategic plan.

The purpose of the strategic plan is to strengthen prevention and intervention efforts in the city as a means of reducing violence.

In the session held at the Denbigh Community Center Tuesday night, residents shared stories, participated in activities and discussed how they would like to see their neighborhood improved. This is the second meeting held in Newport News in two months.

Police Chief Steve Drew says crime has gone down since July, and it's because the community is coming together.