RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond Police Department on Friday released the results of their summer ‘Fugitives and Firearms Initiative.’
“Crime is not out of control in our city, however perception is reality,” Police Chief Alfred Durham said.
It’s the 14th year Richmond and state police teamed up to carry out the initiative. Authorities went into some of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods in an effort to reduce violent crime by confiscating guns and catching criminals. This year, it began with tragedy.
“At the beginning of this initiative we lost one of our very own,” said Virginia State Police Captain Steven Chumley.
Special Agent Michael Walter lost his life during the operation, but despite his death, police continued to work together as 137 illegally possessed guns were taken off the streets and nearly 300 people were arrested between June 1st and September 7th.
“We are always striving to create a safe environment for our city,” said Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney.
In that time the city saw a 10 percent reduction in crime, but in the wake of recent murders, officials say more work has to be done.
“The scourge of gun violence and illegal weapons still, unfortunately, plagues our streets,” said Stoney.
The chief says police are doing everything they can.
“I have put every available resource with our federal and state partners in there,” Durham said.
But he says the problem is bigger than policing.
“But it’s a band-aid approach, you can’t keep patching it up,” Durham said.
He says more work has to be done to keep criminals behind bars.
Police say despite high profile and tragic murders they’re going to continue to target the areas that need it the most.