VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — The president of the police union in Virginia Beach has warned that the city needs to hire or more officers to prevent more violent incidents.
The coastal city of about 450,000 people experienced three shooting incidents in one night along the oceanfront that left two people dead and several wounded.
WAVY-TV reported Thursday that the Virginia Beach Police Benevolent Association president issued his warning in a strongly worded letter to City Council. Brian Luciano also told the station the department is down 100 officers.
“It certainly does not help,” Luciano said.
Police Chief Paul Neudigate has said that it took 103 officers to manage the incidents along the oceanfront early Saturday.
Virginia Beach Mayor Bob Dyer said that altering police staffing is already underway.
“The police chief is going to be bolstering personnel with more police officers at the Oceanfront,” he said. “We are diverting and increase personnel that are going to be there, and we are going to supplement that with the sheriff’s department.”
But the group Black Lives Matter 757 has said they believe the answer isn’t more officers, but positive involvement between police and the community.