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I-Team: New NLV Police chief addresses violence concerns; shares plans for department |

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I-Team: New NLV Police chief addresses violence concerns; shares plans for department

The recent rash of violence in North Las Vegas has many residents very concerned. Three homicides and a drive-by shooting which sent a 15-year-old and 9-year-old to the hospital happened in North Las Vegas in the month of November alone.

But in an exclusive interview with the I-Team, the new chief of the police says she wants the community to know changes are being made within the department to help address the issues.

WEB EXTRA: One-on-one interview with new North Las Vegas Police chief

"We've been hit particularly hard, and it's our responsibility no matter what rank I am; whether I was on the streets, captain, or chief, to take ownership of this and do everything we can to help the community," said Chief Pam Ojeda, North Las Vegas Police.

Ojeda has been working her way up through the ranks for 23 years. She was appointed to the chief of police position about two weeks ago, which is around the same time the violence escalated in the city.

On Wednesday night, confusion over a community meeting with police made tempers flare. The department said the focus of the town hall was supposed to be traffic, but members of the community fired back with their concerns demanding answers about the spike in crime.

"Although we didn't like that that happened last night, we're glad people are concerned, and they want to get involved, and we want them to be involved," Chief Ojeda said.

According to the chief, an End the Violence Program will begin soon, and 13 new officers will be out on the streets patroling. There will also be a and a problem-solving unit focusing on a neighborhood near E. Centennial Parkway and N. Palmer Street.

While change happens within the department, Ojeda says outreach will include education for parents on how to figure out whether their children have joined a gang.

Chief Ojeda confirms the shooting that left 11-year-old Aneglina Erives dead because the shooters targeted the wrong home was gang-related.

"It's heartbreaking," Chief Ojeda said. "I mean -- as a parent," she said as she got choked up. "Could I stop for a second," Chief Ojeda requested of the reporter.

Chief Ojeda continued by saying, "I know our detectives worked very closely with that family and it was heartbreaking to see what a family they were. They invited us inside Angelina's funeral services that they attended, and it's just one of those things that hit home. You know no matter how many years you do this job; I've been at CSI, I've been on the worst crime scenes and other things, but when they're children, they just hit you particularly hard."

Chief Ojeda says community members are encouraged to reach out to her department if they'd like to set up meetings with officers to address issues.