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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Newport News hires two domestic violence specialists

The Newport News Police Department recently hired two domestic violence liaison positions.

Cheryl Chavers is now the domestic violence specialist and Neisha Himes is the domestic violence outreach liaison for the police department.

“In Newport News, we are currently experiencing a decrease in all crimes, except aggravated assaults,” said Police Chief Steve Drew, in a prepared statement. “A driving increase in aggravated assaults is primarily domestic-related violence and we are taking a proactive approach to addressing the issue.”

Chavers previously worked for the city’s human services department as a senior family service specialist and family engagement coordinator and Himes is the founder and CEO of GROW Foundation, a nonprofit helping victims of domestic violence and is a domestic violence survivor herself, according to the police department’s news release.

Both Chavers and Himes will work with the community, the department’s Community Youth & Outreach Division and the Special Victim’s Unit of Criminal Investigations Division.

“It is our hope that with the help of our new team members, we can better streamline processes for victims and make resources more readily available,” Drew said in a prepared statement. “At the same time, they will work to develop effective intervention programs, building on the partnerships that our community policing policies have helped to develop and sustain.”

Previously, the department was hiring for one position, a domestic violence specialist, to serve as both a client advocate for victims of domestic violence and a liaison to government agencies.

The position would report to a police sergeant and the salary range was $46,883.55 to $80,758.48.

“Ms. Chavers first day was April 6,” Kelly King, the department’s spokeswoman, wrote in an email Monday. “Ms. Himes first day was April 20.”

Chavers’ salary is $70,000, grant funded, she noted, and Himes’ salary is $44,079.

When asked why the department decided to hire two specialists instead of one, King wrote “to expand the team of experts needed to address the issue of Domestic Violence in the City of Newport News.”

She said from March 1 to April 20, there were 19 domestic-related aggravated assaults.


Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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