CPD Chief Kochis addresses recent gun violence numbers
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville Police Chief Michael Kochis says there is some progress in addressing gun violence in the city, but the work is far from over.
He says data, heat maps, adjusting deployment strategies and working with the community has contributed to a 40% reduction in shots fired calls over the last 30 days.
“It’s not time to spike the ball yet,” Chief Kochis said. “We have a lot of work to do and that can change. So we need to keep working hard, with the community. The community has been doing a great job.”
Some of that community help is coming from high schoolers. Chief Kochis says he met with CHS students to hear their ideas on Wednesday, March 15.
“It’s important for us to listen to them, to listen to their perspective about why they think these things are happening,” he said.”
Community input and team effort is something the chief prioritized even before he got to the city. Kochis says communications started between him, UVAPD and ACPD before he started.
“We started talking about how are we going to address some of these very complex issues that, to be quite honest, don’t respect boundaries,” he said.
Kochis also says the issue of kids using guns isn’t unique to the Charlottesville area.
“You’re seeing same issues in Richmond, you’re seeing them in Alexandria, in Fairfax, you know, all over the Commonwealth. Quite frankly, you’re seeing it all over the country,” Kochis said.
He says its about trying new and different strategies and getting to the root of the issue .
“The old ways of addressing these issues, they’re not going to work. We need to really be thoughtful about our response,” Kochis said.
And for those still using violence to resolve conflict, his message is clear: Your life is going to be changed forever. I will tell you if you’re caught with a gun, or if you’re involved in a shooting, the Commonwealth attorney’s office in the city of Charlottesville is going to prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law. And if it’s something like a murder or something like that, you could be charged as an adult.”
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