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Petersburg Police calling on community to help solve violent crimes

"I've never seen it this bad with getting the help from the public."
Posted at 7:01 PM, Nov 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 19:01:35-05

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Petersburg Police Chief Travis Christian and Captain Emanuel Chambliss are calling on community members to help solve violent crimes in the city.

"I've got 31 years in and I've never seen it this bad with getting the help from the public," said Captain Emanuel Chambliss.

Petersburg Police command staff start their mornings by going over crimes from the night before, sharing information to try and solve crimes and bring closure to families.

But police say even family members won't talk.

"We've had detectives go out and talk with family members trying to get their help and we've been cussed out, told to get off their property, just flat out refusal to help," said Chambliss.

Christian says the lack of cooperation from witnesses is frustrating.

Many residents like Kenneth Pope just don't understand.

"When it's time to tell the police something, they don't want to get involved, you know it just don't make no sense," said Pope.

Gunshots Sunday night was an all too familiar sound for the Petersburg man.

"I heard about eight or nine gunshots," said Pope.

When the gunshots ended, a car sped away.

"It's real scary, cause it's close to home and it could be me," Pope added.

Chief Christian says overall crime is actually down in the city for 2020. However, there has been 20 murders in 2020.

"These numbers are not murders that occur as a result of protecting your love one, or protecting yourself or your property, this is just a behavior issue, where we just don't know how to resolve conflict," said Christian.

"Gun violence is not the way," he added.

Petersburg police say they continue to spend time in the community, trying to build trust.

However, Chief Christian says the public must understand they can't do it alone.

Petersburg Police ask if you have any information about any crime in the city, contact Crime Solvers at 861-1212.