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  • WTVR CBS 6

    Petersburg chief says cameras around the city are helping officers fight crime

    By Wayne Covil,

    25 days ago

    PETERSBURG, Va. -- Petersburg Police Chief Travis Christian said it's been a difficult week for his department after two people, including one teenager, were killed in shootings in the city .

    "It’s tough for our community and tough for our department," Chief Christian said. "We work really hard to reduce the fear of crime in our city."

    Christian said violent crime (rape, robbery, homicide, and aggravated assault) is down about eight percent so far this year. Detectives have also made arrests in two of the city's four homicides.

    "As a result of the increase in calls and increase of participation from our citizens, we’ve been able to see a reduction in our overall major violent crimes," Christian said.

    Watch: Petersburg shooting puts nearby gym on lockdown, city's 2nd shooting in 24 hours

    Petersburg shooting puts nearby gym on lockdown, city's 2nd shooting in 24 hours

    Christian said he's still looking to hire officers to increase the number of people on the police force.

    Despite being understaffed, Christian said his officers are doing a good job getting guns off city streets.

    "So far we’ve taken 97 guns off the streets of Petersburg," he said. "These guns have been utilized in some capacity, in an illegal act.”

    The chief acknowledged his officers continued to chase calls for shots fired which don't always mean someone was shot and don't always lead to an arrest.

    He added license plate readers, known as Flock cameras, positioned around the city are a help.

    "Being able to identify those vehicles has helped us, aided us in solving crimes," he said.

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