Only on 10: VB business owners, police optimistic that safety concerns at start of summer will be addressed –


Only on 10: VB business owners, police optimistic that safety concerns at start of summer will be addressed –

by: Jon Dowding Posted: May 28, 2021 / 09:34 PM EDT / Updated: May 28, 2021 / 11:31 PM EDT

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — It was a team huddle of Oceanfront businesses this afternoon as they met with Virginia Beach police to discuss concerns at the start of the summer season.

“Right now, I’m really optimistic so I hope that it stays that way,” said Jaketa Thompson, owner of Omnia Unlimited.

More than two dozen business leaders expressed optimism about improved safety protocols after their annual start of the season meeting with law enforcement at Peabody’s.

“Increased bike police, um, people walking. It’s going to be a really cohesive, multilayer of safety this weekend and probably going forward,” Thompson said.

10 On Your Side tried speaking with Virginia Beach police as they left the meeting — who also signaled optimism.

When asked what the main message Friday was about personal safety, Capt. Harry McBrien said “we’re working together.

Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate tweeted Friday, saying that there was a “nice turnout” for the meeting.

Nice turnout for the meeting between our liquor establishment stakeholders in the Resort Area, @VBPD, and @VBSO. 2nd Precinct Commander, Cpt. McBrien, discussing issues, challenges, & partnerships as we move into the Summer season!

— Chief Paul Neudigate (@PaulNeudigate) May 28, 2021

Alex Adams — who owns the Ocean House on the Boardwalk — said he told police he was worried about the safety of his employees.

“I was concerned about employees leaving work and getting to their cars safely and it went good. They said they’re working on lighting issues in the city and they’re going to get more patrols to follow the employee routes,” Adams said.

After nearly an hour and a half — those 10 On Your Side spoke with said they’re optimistic about the communication with police.

“I feel good. I feel like we’re starting to communicate and we’re going to get through it together,” said Adams, adding that he felt heard during the meeting.

There was already a large police presence out Friday night, which business owners say is the start to solving some of their safety problems.

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