The City of Newport News is taking a community-based approach to understand the most pressing concerns around safety and the effects of crime by releasing a Community Assessment Survey. The purpose of the survey is to hear from residents and develop new community-based programs and services that address gun violence in Newport News.
“Gun violence is a public health crisis that affects communities across the nation,” said Newport News Mayor McKinley L. Price.
Newport News residents of all ages can respond to the 36-question survey to share their thoughts on safety in the city, experiences with crime, perceptions of causal factors of crime, input on police, and experiences with discrimination. Respondents will also be asked to share the everyday concerns and challenges they face, as well as the city resources they utilize and what they feel is lacking. The survey should take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.
The city will use the responses to create a strategy for addressing gun violence, including a grant program for qualified community-based organizations that present solutions to reduce gun violence. The goal is to invest in groups that demonstrate the capacity to create safe and stronger neighborhoods. Community organizations are invited to provide their contact information and a brief description of their efforts on the Community Safety Initiative webpage. When the grant application is available, the city will send an email to the address provided.
To facilitate the survey, the city contracted with the Center for Crime, Equity, and Justice Research and Policy at Christopher Newport University. Newport News received a $25,000 Youth and Gang Violence Community Assessment grant from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to conduct a comprehensive Gun Violence Community Assessment. The purpose of the DCJS grant is to help communities develop successful gun violence intervention and prevention programs.
The survey can be found online. To ensure everyone has the opportunity for their voices to be heard, print copies of the survey are available at all Newport News Public Library branches and community centers. Community members without broadband access are encouraged to visit one of the sites to complete the survey.
For more information on the effort, visit the Newport News Community Safety Initiative webpage.
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