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Jan 09

Welcome to Chief Myers' Blog!

Posted on January 9, 2017 at 3:15 PM by Daniel Kvaternik

Happy New Year! To celebrate the arrival of 2017, we’re going to implement a new tradition here…a Chief’s Blog. This medium will provide us the chance to talk a bit about contemporary issues in policing, both nationally and locally. It will provide an unfiltered glimpse into the operations of your police department. It will help us provide factual information about events without the spin.

As we begin a new year, it may be helpful to look back at the one just completed. In 2016 we experienced 31 homicides, which is an increase from the prior two years. Sometimes folks in the media ask about the actual number of homicides, which frustrates me a great deal: what IS the acceptable number of homicides, anyway? If you don’t like 30, or 20, is 10 ok? Every single life is valuable and precious, and I reject the notion of counting homicides like tick marks on a roster. We strive to solve every case and bring justice to the offenders, and we never let go of solving a murder investigation. As a community, we should accept NO level of murder; this is what frustrates investigators when we know there are witnesses and they won’t come forward.

It is even more frustrating with the uptick in non-fatal shootings we’ve seen in 2016. It is not uncommon that a shooting victim is uncooperative with investigators. In some cases, this isn’t even the first time a victim has been shot! We are not seeking to vilify crime victims, and we don’t list the long laundry list of prior criminal offenses with some of our victims, but there is a difficult truth buried in this pattern. Many of our victims are being shot because they’ve made bad choices; engaging in drug or gun sales, stealing, running with a gang, and simply carrying and/or threatening others with a gun….these are things that can get you shot, unfortunately. We try to thoroughly analyze the story behind the crime, even with uncooperative victims and witnesses, to identify how and why it happened. This may be why as an agency, we know Newport News as a safe place to live, shop, work and recreate, because we know how often violence strikes those who put themselves at undue risk. This isn’t to say there are no random crimes or that innocent people aren’t victimized. But, before people criticize or judge our community, we wish they had more context than is normally reported in the news.

One thing I invite all readers in Newport News to consider is to come see what we do. My father had an old proverb he raised me by, “never judge a man without walking in his shoes for a mile.” Our contemporary version of that is to do a ride-along with a police officer. If you are over 18 years of age and don’t have a prior felony record, we invite you to register for a ride along. It will give you a better sense that a) your officers are hard working b) police officers are people, just like you and c) thanks to the work of your police officers, a lot of things don’t happen or don’t rise to a level that threatens the quality of life in our community. For more information about ride alongs, visit

I welcome suggestions for future Blog posts, just send them my way at