Specialized police units are positioned in greater crime concentration areas throughout our City which are identified through statistical data. What does this mean? The Crime Analysis Section identifies these areas and patterns of violent and property crime, drilling down on these locations and deploying NPD resources, thus preventing, or reducing criminal activity. For example, NPD now engages directed patrols targeting areas of greatest need such as target traffic enforcement, special initiatives such as the Granby Street Detail or Violent Crime Initiative.
Because it can’t be done in a vacuum, our ongoing commitment to keeping Norfolk residents safe and supported includes joining forces with our citizens and organizations via collaborative programs like the Norfolk Nighthawks basketball league, National Night Out, St. Paul’s Advisory Committees and Summer Food Program. These are some of the ways we lift up our residents and embrace community.
Newark Community Street Team
The City of Norfolk has partnered with New Jersey based Newark Community Street Team (NCST). NCST was founded by Mayor Ras J. Baraka as Newark’s community-based violence reduction strategy. NCST draws upon an evidence-based, trauma informed approach to violence reduction.
The Norfolk Nighthawks returned in 2022! Focused on residents 18+, Norfolk Nighthawks is a nighttime basketball tournament with an emphasis on positive activities while providing additional information like employment opportunities, professional development, G.E.D. enrollment, healthcare services, and more.
Trusted Partners is a faith-based leaders group comprised of Norfolk-based ministers, community and faith-based organizations, and city staff that meet monthly to discuss important topical items and updates from the City of Norfolk. The goal and/or mission of the group is to serve as a “thinktank” and an engagement/advisory for municipal government and the City Manager. We strive to facilitate and build community partnerships and serve as informed and trusted purveyors of good news to the citizenry, the church community, and faith-based organizations. Between meetings, we share information and updates relative to city-sponsored events, activities, grant/sponsorship opportunities, and initiatives that enhance livability, strengthen resiliency, and celebrate diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Business Compliance Unit (BCU)
The Business Compliance Unit (BCU) has been operating throughout the City since its creation with the 2023 Budget last July. The team has taken full command of its mission – ensuring new and existing businesses are compliant with City regulations.
In its first six months, the BCU has performed inspections at all hours and in all corners of the City, inspecting businesses ranging from nightclubs to convenience stores and from used car dealerships to short-term rentals. Always performed in a friendly and helpful manner, these inspections serve to inform business operators of regulations, assist them in getting compliant where issues are identified, and confirm compliance moving forward.
Norfolk Police Foundation Mini Grants
The City of Norfolk (City) has worked with the Newark Community Street Team (NCST) to design and implement a community violence intervention program. The key near-term objective was to create a mini-grant program while longer-term activities are in-progress.
The City offered a Summer/Fall mini-grant program to provide low-barrier funding to Norfolk communities most impacted by gun violence. The goal of the program is to promote recovery, healing, recreation, and community-building.
Community outreach is a regular part of the Community Affairs Section. Members of the unit are in constant touch with residents, businesses, civic leagues, and other organizations in an effort to educate citizens about keeping their property and themselves safe.
The Community Affairs officers are proactive in contacting civic leagues to encourage the establishment of Neighborhood Watch in their neighborhoods. A strong civic league is important for combating crime in neighborhoods and Neighborhood Watch is one tool that civic leagues can use to assist with these efforts.
Community Affairs officers can address criminal activity and neighborhood concerns within the scope of each civic league, and offer education and awareness programs to assist members in recognizing and combating crime.
Norfolk continues to incorporate portable security cameras contracted by Live View Technology as part of its overall crime reduction strategy. How do they help? Portable security cameras, currently in use downtown on Granby Street and Oceanview’s Community Beach are crime prevention mechanisms boosting the level of visible surveillance. Camera technology is an important tool for overall crime reduction strategies targeting two objectives: preventing crimes through increasing criminals’ perceived risks of being captured on video and using live and recorded video to retroactively identify and apprehend those involved in criminal activities. The cameras’ presence, including easy-to-see blue lights and live camera monitoring during peak activity makes it possible to dispatch mobile officers to an incident, helping crime solving and reduction even before a citizen makes that 911 call.
Norfolk's Parking Safety Enhancements
The City of Norfolk's Parking Division is enhancing parking safety with efficient, cutting edge technology.
Norfolk Police Data Hub
As the City of Norfolk moves beyond the immediate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have proactively and progressively adapted our means and methods for reducing crime within neighborhoods and communities.
Guns and patrol cars alone will not address today’s needs; reducing crime now requires a holistic approach that includes community building, targeted education, and increased cooperation from residents in our most vulnerable areas. New tactics and technologies can also make a positive difference, allowing law enforcement resources to go farther than could ever be achieved solely through more officers placed on the streets. We will meet modern obstacles with cutting-edge solutions, and our city will emerge both stronger and safer.