Our department belongs to you, the community, just as much as it does to me or anyone else and that warm sense of community brought about continued innovation and success in 2017. Our partnership with Feeding America Southwest Virginia, the City of Roanoke, and neighbors in northwest produced a huge honor in October when we won the prestigious International Association of Chiefs of Police [IACP]/Cisco Leadership in Community Policing Award for the planned Community Solutions Center that will open on Melrose Avenue in 2018. The department was also honored to win the Neighborhood-City Partnership Award for our team approach to solving issues in some of our outstanding neighborhoods.
Our model of Citizencentric Policing means that we work for you and strive to meet each individual’s expectations of dedication and professionalism in law enforcement. We are very pleased with the continuing cooperation we are getting in many Roanoke neighborhoods which is resulting in solving more crimes and taking more criminals off the streets. It’s our goal in 2018 to continue to prioritize those relationships, as well as bringing new voices to the table such as the youth advisory councils that we have set up at both high schools. I will meet with both of those councils several times in the coming year to make sure any concerns of our youth are heard.
The year was not without its challenges. The number of murders increased from 12 in 2016 to 16 in 2017. Overall, Part One Crime was up about 5 percent in 2017 due primarily to increases in larcenies and burglaries. While these increases are concerning, the statistics continue to mirror other urban localities across the nation and the City of Roanoke is the largest urban locality west of Richmond. The 5 percent increase is still lower than the projections we reported to city council last year, which forecast a near 7 percent overall increase in crime.
It’s also important to put all the crime statistics in the proper context. Overall violent crime fell nearly 6 1/2 percent compared to 2016. The decrease can be attributed to the excellent cooperation we have with our neighborhoods and the hard work of the officers who police those neighborhoods. Robberies for example dropped 30 percent in 2017. Violent crime in Downtown Roanoke fell by nearly 45 percent, an impressive number considering that we now have more people living downtown than we ever have before.
We are very thankful to have engaged neighbors in each one of our diverse communities who are so willing to work together to make a difference in their neighborhoods. We devote a lot of time and energy into building positive relationships within our community and that will continue to be a top priority for our model of Citizencentric Policing. We look forward to serving you during this next year as we continue to work side-by-side to make the City of Roanoke the exceptional place that it is to live, work, and raise a family.
The Roanoke Police Department is proud to be a Certified Crime Prevention Community and is nationally accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). We strive to work together with our citizens to make a positive impact on our community.
Experience A Taste Of What It's Like Being A Police Officer
For more information on the Department's Ride-Along Program, or to obtain an application to participate in the program, access our online form (PDF). It's an excellent way to see the challenges our law enforcement officers face in the field everyday.
See Yourself In Blue
We are always looking for qualified, unique people to join our team. If you have any questions about starting an exciting new career with the Roanoke Police Department, email us or call the Roanoke Police Training Academy, 540-853-2649. For internship opportunities, please send us an email here.