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Roanoke News

Posted on: July 15, 2021

City Receives Department of Criminal Justice Services Grants to Reduce Gun Violence

The Department of Criminal Justice Services has awarded the City of Roanoke two grants. The first is a $25,000 grant to complete a Youth and Gang Violence Community Assessment, which will begin soon and be concluded by the end of the year. This assessment will allow the City to develop a plan of action for the identification, prevention, and intervention of youth and gang violence in the City.  The second is a $500,000 grant for a Gun Violence Intervention Program, which will be used over a two-year period, June 1, 2021 through June 20, 2023. Some of these funds will be designated to hire a Youth and Gang Violence Prevention Coordinator, and two Outreach Workers who will be responsible for reaching out to youth and young adults with high numbers of risk factors identified by the Community Assessment.

“These are action steps that we’re taking to make a difference in our community with regard to gun violence,” says Mayor Sherman Lea. “We are optimistic that these initiatives are going to have an impact on our community, and we will keep working to that end.”

“These grants will allow the City and the Gun Violence Prevention Commission to take gun violence reduction to the next level, “says Council Member Joe Cobb.  "This is an exciting day for the City and a positive step to create new pathways of possibility for the youth in our community.”

These actions are a collaboration between the Gun Violence Prevention Commission, the Roanoke Police Department, the City Manager’s Office, Roanoke City Public Schools, and a number of community partners to complement the efforts at prevention and intervention currently underway by the Gun Violence Prevention Commission and the Roanoke Police Department. 

“These initiatives fit well within the City's overall framework for responding to the increase in gun violence that has plagued Roanoke along with much of the Nation,” says City Manager Bob Cowell.  “The framework’s focus on prevention, intervention, and justice is critical to addressing the immediacy of acts of violence occurring in our community now and in preventing future acts of violence.”  

If you have questions, please contact Council Member Joe Cobb, chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Commission, at joseph.cobb@roanokeva.gov.

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