NEWPORT NEWS -- Newport News Police have a new crime fighting tool in the city’s east end.
Three weeks ago, police teamed up with New Hope Security to help patrol the neighborhood.
Nearly 25 security guards work in shifts, covering the east end day and night.
"The more eyes and more ears we have out there helping us, the better we can do our job," said Capt. Keith Hartman, who heads NNPD’s South Precinct, which covers the east end.
Hartman says some of the security guards are licensed to carry guns, but only police officers enforce the law.
"We're looking for anything illegal happening, going on, and if we find anything we'll call it into the non-emergency number and have the police come out and take over from there," said James McCoy, a New Hope Security guard.
Hartman says in recent weeks there has been a decrease in violent crime, but says it’s unclear whether that’s connected with the beefed up surveillance.
Community activist Kendrick Turner owns New Hope Security, and is paying for the extra surveillance out of his own pocket.
"I know the needs of the community, I know the problems,” said Turner who lives east end. “When I go to sleep I hear gun shots, I see little kids getting shot. I see this going on in my neighborhood, I just want to take a stand and do what’s right for my community."