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Is Operation Ceasefire working to reduce gun violence in Virginia?

Posted at 5:15 PM, Mar 20, 2024

NORFOLK, Va. — Richmond, Petersburg, and Hopewell all experienced a reduction in crime since Operation Ceasefire launched, according to Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares. Miyares helped launch Operation Ceasefire, an initiative to reduce violent crime across the Commonwealth, in October 2022.

He and Virginia House Speaker Del. Don Scott (D-Portsmouth) provided an update on the operation’s progress during a Wednesday event in Norfolk.

Hopewell saw the largest drop among Central Virginia cities with a 33-percent dip in violent crime last year.

Petersburg experienced a 17-percent decrease.

Richmond saw violent crime drop seven percent.

Operation Ceasefire focuses on prosecuting repeat offenders, especially when weapons are involved.

It also attempts to snuff out crime on the front end through community intervention and gang prevention programs.

Both Miyares and Scott credited these numbers to holding repeat offenders accountable and early intervention.

"This whole approach from the beginning has been this idea that it's going to be a holistic approach. You can't just prosecute your way out of it, you have to invest in young people, as well, and also get the right information at the right time to the right people. And we're going to be leveraging as much as we can and experimenting this to continue to see these numbers go down," Miyares said.

WATCH: Virginia leaders hold press conference on reducing violent crime

Virginia leaders hold press conference on reducing violent crime

"There is a way to continue to be smart and how we do public safety, but be fair in our criminal justice system," Scott said. "I think you can do both. And I think we've done it and hold people accountable where we can and give people the opportunity to move forward. Also what we can and I think that's what we've been able to do."

Miyares emphasized the importance of offering programs and activities for kids after school. He said people he’s collaborated with on Operation Ceasefire found that sports, church events, and other after-school activities are great outlets for young people.

"You have to invest in these young men's lives, to show them not to go down a separate path but a path of hope and dignity," said Miyares.

Operation Ceasefire rolled out in 13 Virginia cities with a high volume of gun crime.

Miyares shared on Wednesday that 12 of the 13 Ceasefire cities saw a crime reduction.

He added that over 10,000 illegal guns were recovered from the 13 Ceasefire cities.

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Miyares says 'Operation Ceasefire' is planning anti-gun messages to kid's phones

Maggi Marshall
9:42 PM, Jul 07, 2023

Miyares said Virginia planned to use targeted ads on social media to send children anti-gun violence messaging.

This is a developing story. We want to hear your voice. Tell the CBS 6 Newsroom what you think should be done to reduce gun violence in Virginia.

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