Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $4,600,000)
In 2021, the City of Hampton conducted a community assessment to better understand community members' perceptions of violence. Respondents perceived unsupervised youth, drugs, and mental health/well-being as the top three contributors to crime, particularly gun violence. Many were unaware of, or did not, use available community resources. After gaining community and stakeholder input, government officials and city leaders analyzed available data to determine the causes and sub-causes of gun violence. Professionals from the City Manager's Office, Hampton Police (HPD), Court Services, Commonwealth Attorney's Office, Youth and Young Adult Opportunities, Hampton City Schools, Human Services, and the local Community Services Board observed disproportionate rates of gun violence occur in concentrated areas of the City of Hampton amongst a limited group of actors and their associates. Contributing factors were identified as concentrated poverty, access to guns, desensitization, judicial processes, family dynamics, unaddressed trauma, and poor conflict resolution.
Gun violence negatively impacts perceptions of safety and obstructs the health and well-being of individuals, businesses, neighborhoods, and community stakeholders. Crime data analysis on the number of firearm-related injuries by individual and location is utilized to deploy resources to minimize the loss of life, reduce community trauma, increase trust in government, and make Hampton an even safer place to live, work, play, and invest. Data shows that nearly 92 percent of those likely to shoot or be shot are African American, 80 percent are African American males, and 59 percent are aged 18-25.
To provide individualized community response and support, Hampton will create Neighborhood Satellite Offices in identified neighborhoods to deliver localized wrap-around services. Resources will include community-based prevention and intervention services and provide access to mental health services. These efforts will further the City's goal established in 2022 to reduce fatal and non-fatal shootings by 50 percent and improve citizens' perceptions of safety within five years.
- 2023 Byrne Local Allocation for illegal firearm reduction and officer safety through technology and equipment.
- Training and Technical Assistance for Virtual Reality De-escalation Training
- The City of Pine Bluff Police Department and Jefferson County Sheriff Department crime and violence strategies Initiative