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MVCCA Public Safety Committee Notes

Mar 14, 2023


The theft of tires, catalytic converters, airbags, and other auto parts are increasing, and a key determinant of that issue is lighting, it tends to happen in poorly lit areas. Similarly, the officers wanted to remind folks to lock your cars, the unlocked car offense is mostly perpetrated via a drop off of several people outside of the targeted neighborhood, so vehicles will be less likely to be picked up on a camera. Auto thefts are also increasing, although the target vehicle has evolved from Hondas to Kias and Hyundais. If you are interested in a wheel lock (the club from back in the day) that specifically addresses a design flaw in these two makes, reach out to the local station because they have some remaining from a giveaway event they held.

There were two recent serious assaults on Rt. 1 at a bus station and the Home Depot near us, both were crimes of opportunity due to low lighting and the perceived weakness of the victims, and both resulted in arrests.

Shoplifting is also on the increase in the area, but tends to focus on known repeat targets, such as our local Home Depot (because, unlike Walmart where this is an issue, they do not have a full time loss prevention officer), and local 711 stores.

Fentanyl-containing products are also on the rise. Ironically, because all of the police officers carry Narcan to counteract any potential exposure (it was needed for an officer in an exposure incident a few months ago), a significant number of the calls do not result in arrests because individuals who have overdosed are saved by Narcan that the officers have, do not have any drugs on them, and refuse medical treatment.

On a more positive note, organized gang activity, particularly MS-13, is continuing a gradual decrease over the past few years, due to concerted efforts at every level (local, county, state, national) and dedicated resources.

Traffic has returned to pre-COVID levels, as has the backlog at the VDOT and the county DOT on addressing systemic traffic issues (neighborhood speeding, noise, etc.).

Lastly, the PD leadership communicated that they realize that local budget advocacy has an impact, so if the citizenry has anything specific to say about increasing pay to increase retention and the corresponding budget outlays they should do so through the established mechanisms, with the usual hierarchy of community involvement (in person is best) applying in this case.