Gun Violence Task Force
The purpose of the Gun Violence Task Force was to consider current practices within the City of Roanoke to address gun violence, review alternatives that have been utilized in other communities, and make recommendations to City Council to implement tangible, meaningful and transformative actions to reduce gun violence within the City of Roanoke.
To review the virtual meetings, click here. click here.
To learn more about the Gun Violence Prevention Commission, click here.
For more information, contact: [email protected]
- GVTF Meeting Dates
- GVTF Meeting Minutes
- GVTF Public Hearing Agendas
- GVTF FINAL Recommendations
- GVTF Bylaws
- GVTF Documents
- Study Committee to Reduce Gun Violence Minutes 021221.pdf
- Study Committee to Reduce Gun Violence Minutes 010821.pdf
- 05-14-19 Task Force Minutes.pdf
- 07-01-19 Task Force Minutes.pdf
- 07-22-19 Task Force Minutes.pdf
- Study Committee to Reduce Gun Violence Minutes 081420.pdf
- RGVTF Working Group Minutes 092319
- TFRGV Lead Team 092319
- TFRGV Meeting Minutes September 9 2019
- Study Committee to Reduce Gun Violence Minutes 111320.pdf
- Study Committee to Reduce Gun Violence Minutes 121120.pdf
- Study Committee to Reduce Gun Violence Agenda 031221.pdf
- Study Committee to Reduce Gun Violence Agenda 021221.pdf
- Study Committee to Reduce Gun Violence Agenda 010821.pdf
- Study Committee To Reduce Gun Violence Agenda 12-11-2020.pdf
- Study Committee to Reduce Gun Violence Agenda 9-11-2020.pdf
- 2020 GSWs and Firearm 09A 09.11.2020.pdf
- 8-22-19 Task Force Public Hearing Agenda.pdf
- Study Committee to Reduce Gun Violence Agenda 081420.pdf
- 8-12-19 Task Force Public Hearing Agenda.pdf
- Study Committee to Reduce Gun Violence Agenda 073120.pdf
- Study Committee to Reduce Gun Violence Agenda 7-16-2020.pdf
- 5-14-19 Task Force Public Hearing Agenda.pdf
To watch the Reducing Gang Violence Working Group Meeting with Shanel Lewis: Safe & Thriving Program, Richmond, VA- click here.
STUDY COMMITTEE TO REDUCE GUN VIOLENCE NEWS & EVENTS
Bridging the Community Gap Virtual Event to Offer Peace, Joy to Community
Citizens were invited to participate in a special virtual event, Bridging the Community Gap, to spread peace and joy through our community. The event, was held on Thursday, Dec. 10, at 6 p.m., at the City of Roanoke Christmas Tree in downtown Roanoke and was livestreamed on the City of Roanoke – Government Facebook page for citizens to view.
Bridging the Community Gap focused on our community’s efforts, through peaceful programs and initiatives, to reduce violence in our community by building relationships. Mayor Sherman Lea and Vice Mayor Joe Cobb, along with community members, shared information on how this work is being done in collaboration with the Safer Neighborhoods Working Group of the Task Force to Reduce Gun Violence, Total Action for Progress, and other community partners.
The event included music, stories of persons impacted by violence, community sharing of a Stop the Violence Pledge, a moment of silence and candle lighting and an interfaith prayer for peace.
In addition to this virtual event, citizens are encouraged to donate books (new or used), socks, gloves, or canned goods to benefit people in need, and can be dropped off at the following locations:
- Virginia Career Works, 3601 Thirlane Rd., Roanoke
- Lancelot Sports Complex, 1110 Vinyard Rd., Vinton
- Roanoke Higher Education Center, 108 N Jefferson St., Roanoke, Suites 513 and 509.
This event was made possible by these partners: Melrose/Rugby, Loudon/ Melrose, Hurt Park, RCPD, YouthHQ Goodwill, Roanoke City Council, Task Force to Reduce Gun Violence, City of Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Family Services of Roanoke Valley, Oak Grove Church of the Brethren Peace and Justice Committee, Central Church of the Brethren Race Education Team, Virginia Career Works Roanoke Center, TAP Project Discovery, and TAP Domestic Violence Services.
October 16, 2020
City Hires RESET Coordinator
Lloyd Merchant has been hired by the Roanoke Police Department as its Rapid Engagement of Support in the Event of Trauma (RESET) Coordinator.
On Oct. 1, Mayor Sherman Lea and Roanoke Police Chief Sam Roman shared results of a recent joint operation with the U.S. Marshals Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force with the community. The operation resulted in the arrest of 138 individuals with 212 outstanding warrants, including the apprehension of an individual involved in gunfire on I-581. At that briefing, the Mayor conveyed the significance of a continued strong police response to the recent increase in gun violence, while also acknowledging the importance of a comprehensive and long-term response. Vice-Mayor Cobb shared more details about how the work of the Task Force to Reduce Gun Violence is an element of that long-term response. The Task Force was created on June 3, 2019, and is now called the Study Committee to Reduce Gun Violence. This group, chaired by Shakira Williams, is comprised of members of the community, including educators, health care professionals, trauma-informed counselors, law enforcement and first responders, youth mentors, and citizens whose lives have been directly impacted by gun violence.
As a follow-up to that briefing, Vice Mayor Joe Cobb and Chief Roman are pleased to announce the selection of Lloyd Merchant as the Rapid Engagement of Support in the Event of Trauma (RESET) Coordinator. The position is supported by a grant from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. The RESET Coordinator will be responsible for organizing and recruiting volunteers that will be a restorative program, not an investigative tool. The RESET Coordinator will lead a team of community volunteers to visit neighborhoods after the areas have experienced traumatic events, or they will go to areas where the citizens are continuously affected by ongoing criminal activity. Mr. Merchant most recently worked as a probation/parole supervisor; his employment history also includes positions as a Roanoke Police Officer and Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army.
“As a department, we are excited to bring another level of service to our community that we were previously not able to provide,” Chief Roman says about the position. “There is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Merchant and his team of volunteers are going to greatly improve the quality of life for individuals in neighborhoods that are continuously impacted by violent crime. Mr. Merchant already has strong, existing ties to the community that will only enhance the work he will be doing.”
Merchant’s position is a key element of what is identified in the Task Force Recommendations delivered to Roanoke City Council in November of 2019. Recommendations can be found here.
The combination of intelligence-based, individual-offender focused policing, continued relationship building between the Roanoke Police Department and community members, and the longer-term actions of the Study Committee to Reduce Gun Violence are designed to slow the current pace of gun violence and make a lasting difference in ensuring the safety of all residents in the City of Roanoke.
At the Council meeting later this year, the Study Committee will deliver its second set of more detailed recommendations, focused on action items addressing youth and gang activities.