RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Mayor Levar Stoney addressed gun violence in the city along with Richmond’s vaccination efforts at his weekly briefing on Wednesday.
He said gun violence is an issue in the city that tears apart the community. So far, Richmond has had seven people injured in three shootings across the city since Monday.
“With each shooting, countless lives are forever changed,” Stoney said. “This seems to be an unfortunate cycle in our city for decades.”
He said the Richmond Police Department will do everything they can to track down the people who hurt others in the city.
“If you’re bold enough to take someone’s life, you’re bold enough to face the consequences,” Stoney said.
The mayor said gun violence is still an issue in the city and he believes it is because of the inundation of firearms in communities. While Stoney said there are policy changes that can be made to help with this, his administration is committed to rooting out gun violence at its root cause.
He said they are using $1.5 million from the American Action Plan and a $500,000 grant from the Department of Justice Services to target these issues.
“The bottom line is nobody, not matter what neighborhood they live in, what their zip code may be, should have to walk around in their communities in fear,” he said.
However, the Mayor gave no straight answer on what these efforts look like, or what exact measures he would be taking.
Stoney also gave an update on the city’s vaccination policy. Last month the mayor announced all Richmond City employees would be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine, or file for an exemption and take part in weekly testing.
He said 74 percent of its workforce has been fully vaccinated and 10 percent are partially vaccinated and on track to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 10. Another 10 percent of employees have successfully filed a vaccination exemption and will participate in weekly testing.
“And we are going to keep on working to make sure the remaining employees are complying with this policy,” he said.
Stoney reiterated that employees who do not get vaccinated will face increasingconsequences, such as leave without pay, but the ultimate one will be termination of employment.
“And if you believe that you are not going to be vaccinated, then you are not going to have a job here with at the City of Richmond,” Stoney said.