CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Saturday, July 4, Chesapeake Police Department refused to send anyone to the West Munden area where fireworks and gunshots got out of control.
During the daylight hours, popping sounds could be heard coming from several different streets in the West Munden community. People were prepping fireworks and firearms for their nightly July 4th celebrations.
Some had went out of state last week and sneaked them into their backyards, while others had someone bring it to them.
When the sun went down, fireworks were set off. Loud, popping, cracking sounds could be heard through closed windows and doors. The sparks flew up into the trees and what the trees didn’t catch, the rest fell into the backyards. Handguns and shotguns were being fired at the same time. The mayhem was coming from Rhodes Street, Martin Avenue, Myers Road., Burfoot Street and several others. It went on for several hours.
Fireworks are illegal in the state of Virginia, unless they are being used by a licensed contractor. Supposedly, the best thing is to call the police because the people who are handling the fireworks are unlicensed, unprofessional individuals who are setting off dangerous explosives that could hurt, kill or damage people’s properties. However, anyone who lives in Chesapeake know that the police do not enforce it all the time.
If they enforced it all the time, then these people wouldn’t be doing the same thing over and over again. Chesapeake police are discriminatory. They work for who they want to work for. In West Munden, there are long-time drug dealers, gangs and unofficial halfway houses of felons that have been reported for years and nothing has happened. There are plenty of laws that do not get enforced in Chesapeake.
A recent incident was reported to me that someone called the non-emergency number on July 4, 2020 for fireworks and gunshots when it was first starting in West Munden. The woman working dispatch answered the phone. The situation was explained to her. She asked if the individual would like to speak to a Chesapeake Police officer, the person declined and asked to remain anonymous.
The dispatch says, “Sorry.”
“What do you mean, sorry?” The person says.
“I mean, sorry. If you don’t want to talk to an officer than I’m not sending anyone out there.”
The person says, “What? Talk to a police officer for what? There are so many houses around here that’s doing it, I can’t tell where all of them are coming from.”
“Yes, it’s bad in Chesapeake, Virginia Beach and Norfolk, We don’t have enough officers to go around…”
The person hangs up because they realize it’s useless. Chesapeake police did not respond.
The incident comes back to me because they couldn’t get through to police.
First off, the person that contacted the Chesapeake Police department about a crime in progress shouldn’t have been told about what other surrounding cities were experiencing at the time.
Secondly, the person was being forced out of anonymity to speak with a police officer. She wanted the person to risk their lives being seen talking to a police officer about fireworks and gunshots that are coming from people who many of them make their living from illegal activities. They stalk and harass anyone that they consider as a threat to their livelihood. I should know. How are they telling someone in one sentence that you don’t have enough police officers to go around, but you can come up with one for someone to talk to? They talk out of both sides of their mouth.
What did she want the person to do? Hold the hand of law enforcement officers and take them around to each individual house where fireworks and gunshots were coming from and knock on the door for them. They’re the ones with the badge and the resources.
Chesapeake Police are so fixated on knowing who’s reporting the crime, then’s who’s committing it. A complete breakdown of priorities.
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard about an incident of this nature. There was a similar incident during New Year’s when someone reported gunshots to the police and they wanted to remain anonymous, but the officer insisted on taking the person’s phone number. Why are Chesapeake residents being forced out of anonymity to get a police officer to respond to a crime?
If they were enforcing the law all the time, how come this woman — in so many words — proudly admits on a community platform that she has fireworks and she’s trying to intimidate the people who have a problem with it. Chesapeake police are regular speakers on the same platform and she wasn’t worried about them seeing what she wrote.
Some Chesapeake residents are feeling as though they have to go out and find the addresses of the people with the fireworks for themselves and “pursue further action” because the law isn’t being enforced.
What he doesn’t realize is that sometimes that doesn’t even work in Chesapeake.
It’s illegal, dangerous, loud and annoying to keep hearing fireworks. The houses are too close together. COVID-19 has nothing to do with this because it was happening before the pandemic. People are getting tired of it, since it has been going on for months now.
Some Chesapeake residents called Chesapeake police and they gave them their classic answer, “There’s nothing I can do.” For over 40 years, that has been their answer to residents who need their help. Even though they have all the resources at their fingertips.
Don’t fall for the get-their-address game. They tell you that because they think that you won’t do it. In any case, you can get the suspects names, addresses and backgrounds, gift wrap it and send it to Chesapeake Police and they still won’t do anything. Just read what this woman has to say. She has been breaking the law the entire time and all they told her was to put it away. Don’t even risk your life going to people’s houses.
In my experience, Chesapeake Police will try to make you believe that you’re the only one reporting anything and that they need more voices before than can proceed, but that’s usually not the case. You’re not alone.
Good luck with getting police to patrol in Chesapeake. The process is like pulling teeth. When they finally do get around to patrolling, they conveniently ride through during the hours when there’s nothing happening.
We’re living in a community where crime is happening and there’s no one to take your concerns to. Fireworks and celebratory gunshots are just a couple of the issues. It pales in comparison to the drug smells, drug distribution, drug manufacturing and people getting shot.
They’re not going after drug dealers in Chesapeake. When they do, they don’t get much time. There was a seven-time convicted drug dealer who was living in Chesapeake for a while. Other states and cities of Virginia had locked him up, but Chesapeake police finally picked him up and shortly afterwards the Chesapeake judicial system later dismissed his charges. He escaped to Virginia Beach where he got arrested and they gave him 10 years.