RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Police Chief Rick Edwards gave an update on the results of this year’s Operation Safe Summer — an annual public safety initiative across the summer months — Wednesday morning.

During the press conference, Edwards provided a look at crime across the city from June 10 to Sept. 8. If you’re wondering “how much crime happens in Richmond during the summer months” — read on for the official numbers on murder, robbery, drugs and more.

Violent Crime

Chief Edwards gave a comparison of this year’s initiative’s violent crime numbers looking back to 2017.

Edwards said the most occurred in 2019, with 343 violent crimes from June 10 to Sept. 8. He continued on to say that 2023 had 286 violent crimes — the lowest number during the Operation Safe Summer timeframe in the last seven years.


From 2017 to 2023, the highest number of people murdered was 26 in 2021. This year, from June 10 to Sept. 8, Edwards said 13 people were murdered.

Non-fatal Shootings

Edwards said 51 people were shot, but not killed, from June 10 to Sept. 8 this year. In 2020, 99 people were shot but did not die from their injuries.


From June 10 to Sept. 8 this year, 76 robberies were reported to the Richmond Police Department. The highest number of reported robberies in the last seven years was 120 robberies in 2018.

Aggravated Assault

This year during Operation Safe Summer, Edwards reported there were 182 aggravated assault crimes.

Drugs Seized

From June 10 to Sept. 8, the Richmond Police Department seized:

  • Crack Cocaine — nearly 5 pounds (2161.03 grams)
  • Powder Cocaine — 288 grams
  • Heroine — 44.8 grams
  • Fentanyl — 355.6 grams
  • Marijuana — 56 pounds (25,420.5 grams)
  • Misc. Pills — 276 grams

Edwards said year to date, 142 people have died from overdoses in Richmond, the majority of which police believe to be fentanyl-related.

“Obviously the most concerning of those drugs [is] fentanyl,” Edwards said. “We know that fentanyl counts for the majority of our fatal overdoses. It’s something that is affecting our nation as a whole. We think fentanyl is driving the crisis in fatal overdoses and other deaths of despair.”

Gun buyback program

During the announcement, Edwards provided an update on the most recent gun buyback event held by the Richmond Police Department, which took place during the Operation Safe Summer timeframe. On Aug. 12., 250 operating guns were collected at the event.

In June, the City approved spending $80,000 to continue the gun buyback event after 474 pistols, shotguns and handguns were handed over at the 2022 pilot event in exchange for gift cards.

Follow along with 8News for updates on the initiative.