NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Newport News Police Department held their 2018 year-end press conference.
Police Chief Steve Drew, along with the city’s mayor, discussed their achievements, challenges, and what they’re hoping to accomplish to 2019.
According to the citywide year-to-year crime numbers, the department saw a drop in all violent crimes like murder, rape, and robbery. However, there was an increase in by a little under 20% in aggravated assaults.
As for property crimes, there was a decrease in burglaries and larcenies but they investigated more vehicle thefts in 2018. Compared to 2017, the city only had 24 homicides in in 2018. Two years ago ago, there were 26.
Drew said there are still places they need to make headway like with shootings (not including homicides, suicides, victims of paintball or BB shootings or accidental shootings). According to the police department, there were two additional shooting victims last year at 92.
They also recovered less weapons in 2018.
But the chief told News 3 he’s optimistic about 2019.
“We are really, push community policing. Interaction with citizens,” Chief Drew explained. “The second I think is the role the citizens have taken on. We’re getting more calls, we’resolving crimes quicker or making quicker arrest even with residents who don’t wanna leave their name or leave their phone number.”
This year, the chief said, the department is focusing their attention on Courthouse Green, Ridley Circle, and Marshall Courts neighborhoods.