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Riviera Beach police chief works to curb gun violence

Posted at 11:04 PM, Mar 01, 2017
and last updated 2019-03-27 07:37:51-04

Neighbors near West 36th Street said Wednesday they are tired of the gun violence.

"It's still going on everyday. We're still losing our babies to these streets," says one neighbor who didn't want to share her name.

One of those victims was 15-year-old Makayla Dennard, who was shot and killed while standing in her driveway. It was part of a rash of shootings in the city in late 2016.  Three teens were arrested Wednesday in her homicide.

On West 36th Street, Chief Clarence Williams told NewsChannel 5 since Makayla's death that crime is now down in the neighborhood.

"It's improved ten-fold," said Williams.

He says more police presence in problem areas and technology played a role.

Asst. Chief Leonard Mitchell says these cameras, license plate readers, and their chronic nuisance vehicle called "The Eye" are helping as well.

Williams says there's more to it. He's looking to create a program which aims to help youth resolve their differences.

"Not only by an enforcement standpoint, but also from a community building standpoint," says Williams.

He says building relationships with the community is key.

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