Law enforcement agencies target violent crime in new partnership

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies say they are partnering to reduce violent crime in western Virginia.

Monday afternoon, U-S Attorney Rick Mountcastle, and representatives of several other departments announced Project Safe Neighborhood.

They say the program will combat gun and gang violence through aggressive prosecution of violent offenders.

Laura Rottenborn is an Assistant U.S. Attorney who is coordinating the program in western Virginia.

"The rate of homicides and other violent crimes in Roanoke and other cities within our district is simply unacceptable," Rottenborn said during a news conference. "And we will not stand complacent in the face of such violence."

The plan will also gather information on the level of violent crime in the area for the last few years, and provide regular reports on how the region is doing.