HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) — Hopewell City Police Chief Colonel Antonio Starke has announced the formation of a Violent Crime Task Force after the city’s fourth homicide of 2023 occurred in the early morning hours on Jan. 23.

Starke posted on his official Facebook page at 7:13 a.m., just six hours after the deadly shooting, asking community members to stand together “in the fight to reduce crime” in the city.

The goal of the Violent Crime Task Force is to “identify and arrest persons involved in criminal activities, seize illegal firearms and drugs and reduce violent crime in our city through precision policing,” Starke said in the post. The task force will execute search warrants, serve outstanding warrants, enforce traffic laws, hold traffic checkpoints, and work directly with regional partners on multi-jurisdictional operations.

The task force was formed in collaboration with the Hopewell Police Department, Hopewell Sheriff’s Office, Hopewell Commonwealth Attorney’s Office and Virginia State Police. It will be made up of officers, detectives, deputies, special agents and troopers.