Forum to focus on tackling city’s violent crime

Published 4:56 pm Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Local law enforcement and the Commonwealth’s Attorney are putting the spotlight on violent crime, which is up across the U.S. and here in Suffolk.

“Everyone’s seen our local news as well as national news and what we’re seeing across the country and across our city is an increase in violent crime,” said Suffolk Commonwealth Attorney Narendra R. Pleas.

Pleas, along with city Sheriff E.C. Harris and Suffolk Chief of Police Alfred Chandler, are hosting a Law Enforcement Forum from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23 at St. Paul Rzua Church, 619 Spruce Street. The forum includes a Q&A period and free items for the public.

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“Something that we think can be tackled is information: trying to let people know what’s going on, how perhaps they can assist and answer questions: some people don’t know what it is that they could be doing and it could be something very small,” Pleas said.

Chandler shared what he hopes the forum will offer to those who attend.

“I would like our citizens to come with an open mind, and bring ideas, and a willingness to share their feelings with us,” Chandler said. “I believe this forum is a great opportunity for us to collaborate with the public on some of the challenges we face in our community from a safety perspective.”

Chief Deputy Maj. David Miles said he believes the event is important to allow people to have their voices heard.

“We make it a point to be as available to the public as possible,” Miles said.

Pleas agreed that it’s important to have the community’s feedback as they continue their fight against crime.

“We want people, especially in the communities that have been largely affected to know that we do care and that we want their voices heard, to let them know where we are with the work that we’re doing and to take suggestions or comments,” Pleas said. “Whatever feedback we can get that can help us do our jobs better. There’s always room for improvement.