Virginia Beach leaders vote in favor of moving funds to add more cameras to Resort area

Virginia Beach Oceanfront Resort area.png
Posted at 11:25 AM, Apr 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-21 11:25:12-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - In a meeting Tuesday night, Virginia Beach city leaders unanimously voted to move funds towards police initiatives, including adding more cameras, to help with public safety in the city's Resort area.

The vote was 11-0.

This all comes nearly a month after the deadly Oceanfront shootings on March 26.

For nearly 20 years, Galit Beck has been on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront with Bargain Beachwear. But she told News 3 the last few weeks have been tough.

“Customers and people that were visiting, some of them actually cut their visit early because they didn’t feel safe over here. They heard about the shootings, so they cut their vacation early. That’s not good for us.” Beck said. “I know some of the employees that don’t want to come to work on weekends because they’re scared.”

The ordinance would create two Capital Projects and move more than $1.8 million from the city's Special Pandemic Relief and Vaccine Support Reserve towards initiatives, including installing more than 42 cameras in the Resort area.

The money would also go towards bringing in other items including a gunshot detection system, a police structure assessment and safety lighting.

With Tuesday's vote, city council has also amended to raise the funding for the “gunshot detection system” part of the ordinance from $240,000 to $756,000.

Earlier this month, VBPD Chief Paul Neudigate called for more cameras to be put in place at the Oceanfront.

At Tuesday’s meeting, one resident said cameras should be all throughout the city, not in one specific area.

“You should be putting the cameras where the heavy crime is in neighborhoods… instead of everything at the Oceanfront,” Virginia Beach resident Barbara Messner said during the meeting. “Police, they need to be in all neighborhoods.”

For Beck, she said more cameras around her store are vital.

“It would protect the officer and the civilians,” Beck said. “Maybe, if we have more cameras, it would tone things down.”

Overall, Beck told News 3 she wants more safety all year round.

“Not just for [the] Fourth of July, Labor Day and Memorial Day weekend,” she said. “It needs to be on an everyday basis, in the summer at least.”

The vote came around 10 p.m. Tuesday.