NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WVEC) -- Gun violence is a growing problem across Hampton Roads. Including Newport News, where police are working non-stop to get guns off the streets and out of the wrong hands.
Police are also cracking down on an apparent heroine epidemic in the city.
Police Chief Richard Myers says they hear all too often how easy it is for anyone to get a gun.
“The more we started hearing that, the larger priority that became for us,” Chief Myers says.
Police have recovered 212 guns so far in 2017. That's close to half the number of guns recovered all of 2016 (507).
“Let’s hope as that number goes up crime numbers go down,” Chief Myers says.
Chief Myers says they're also fighting a heroin epidemic that's seem to have made its way to Newport News.
Last year, they responded to 107 heroin overdoses.
So far this year, 46.
Chief Myers says it is cause for concern.
Right now, officers do not carry Narcan, which is the medicine used to treat narcotic overdoses in an emergency. EMS and NN Fire personnel are the ones who administer Narcan. However chief Myers says it is something they plan to revisit and then determine if it is necessary for officers to carry the medicine as well.
Kelvin Taylor knows all too well about the gun violence in Newport News. He's lived in the city for 20 years.
“Police can only do so much,” Taylor says. “It starts at home.”
According to police, there have been 25 shooting incidents so far in 2017. This time in 2016 there were 31.
Also, the Violent Crimes Reduction Task Force continues to be successful Chief Myers says.
Police arrested 54 people in March, totaling 150 felony charges and 67 misdemeanor charges.