This part of Richmond third precinct has seen a decline in homicides

Posted at 7:31 PM, Oct 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-26 19:31:32-04

RICHMOND, Va. – Just about anything can be found on Midlothian Turnpike; fast food, motels and other – often less than savory -- businesses.

Lately, some good news can be found.

Over the years, the area has also been a known hot spot for violent crimes like homicides and robberies.

Richmond Police say the reasons for the reported crimes stem from illegal gun sales, prostitution, and drug activity.

The portion of Midlothian Turnpike from Chippenham to Belt boulevard is part of Richmond’s third precinct. one of the largest in the city.

It’s one of the largest precincts in the city, with 85,000 residents -- nearly half of the city's population.

According to Richmond police, The Richmond Violence Suppression Initiative launched in July of 2016 helped bring down crime.

From January 2014 to July 2016, there were 19 homicides in third precinct.

Since implementing this crime fighting program, there have been three homicides.

That means a 68 percent decrease in murders over the past 15 months.

“What we are really trying to do is to make people feel safer out here as we’ve seen these drastic reductions in crime," said Captain Christopher Gleason, Third precinct.

Captain Gleason credited the success to increased manpower along the Midlothian Turnpike, building relationships with the community, and neighbors coming forward with valuable tips.

“People want to know that when they call the police that the police are going to respond,” he said. “We’re going to respond appropriately; we’re going to respond quickly and that we’re going to be effective in that response.”

And that response is important to Sylvia Bridges.

“I think it is awesome. They need to do more to keep the people off the streets," said Bridges.

Bridges doesn’t frequent the area because she says its unsafe at night.

“Because you never whether you might get attacked or anything," she said. “So, I don’t come out at night.”

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