RICHMOND, Va. -- A spike in gun violence in the Richmond Metro area has left local police concerned.
In Henrico, there have been 15 homicides since the beginning of 2021, more than double what the area had at this time last year. It's also five times as many as they had at this point in 2019.
Since the beginning of the year, Richmond has had 34 homicides. At this time last year, that number was 26.
Joe Dombroski is a former agent with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. During his career, he was part of a team that worked to combat violence in Richmond in the 1990s and the 2000s when the city was considered to be one of the most dangerous in the country.
He said that some of the things that concerned him back then are worrying him again these days.
"Law enforcement right now feels under siege. They're not using the laws and the tactics they know how to use to prevent crime. They are becoming reactionary instead of proactive when it comes to preventing crime, like the old days of violence here in Richmond when you had to move in and take the neighborhoods back," Dombroski said.
Dombroski said that 90 percent of residents have nothing to do with the crime and are just trying to live their lives. He believes that in order to properly address the situation, law enforcement needs to step in and actively work to get guns off the street to give people some peace.