NORFOLK, VA – During the Tuesday, June 14, work session, Norfolk City Council received an update and the draft of the Landscape Analysis Report from the Newark Community Street Team (NCST). The City of Norfolk contracted with NCST to provide training and technical assistance (TTA) in support of its coordinated strategy to address the uptick in community violence.
During the spring of 2022, NCST conducted over 75 interviews with individual residents as well as community groups in the city in key areas that were identified based on police data. Meetings were first held in person during a two-day site visit to Norfolk, then on the phone and via Zoom following the visit. The interviews were with a wide variety of stakeholders who provided insights into the current violence; explained the efforts and resources available to address violence; and shared the history of the City.
All interviews were off the record and the feedback in the report was not attributed to specific individuals. NCST also spoke with people who are more intimately familiar with street violence. NCST sent a survey to selected individuals and organizations to gather information about the working conditions of boots-on-the-ground front line workers.
NCST’s report identified key areas of improvement: victim services, school services, and housing. It further highlighted the ongoing evidence that even in communities with high rates of violence only a small percentage of individuals are directly involved. The small percentage of individuals responsible for the largest percentage of violence are often hard to reach by traditional government organizations and approaches. It is through working with NCST that the City aims to identify community organizations that can make the greatest impact by addressing those highest at risk in specific geographic hotspots.
The report also includes the team’s recommendations and next steps, including the city’s investment in community-based public safety infrastructure and training for specific organizations in Norfolk expected to take place in August of this year as well as program design and implementation.