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Roanoke hires RESET Coordinator to visit areas of traumatic events, reoccurring crime

He has worked as a probation/parole supervisor, Roanoke Police Officer and Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army.
(WDBJ)
Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 3:28 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The City of Roanoke and Roanoke Police Department have named Lloyd Merchant as its new Rapid Engagement of Support in the Event of Trauma (RESET) coordinator.

Merchant will work together with the Study Committee to Reduce Gun Violence (formerly known as the Task Force to Reduce Gun Violence) as a part of the response to the recent increase of violent crime within the city. The Study Committee includes 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.

Lloyd Merchant, new RESET coordinator for city of Roanoke
Lloyd Merchant, new RESET coordinator for city of Roanoke(City of Roanoke)

Mayor Sherman Lea has been actively calling for a heightened response to the rise of incidents involving firearms. Roanoke Police Chief Sam Roman joined Lee on October 1 to inform the public of a recent collaborative effort with the U.S. Marshals Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force that resulted in 138 arrests with 212 outstanding warrants.

The newly-created RESET Coordinator position will be responsible for leading a group of community volunteers to visit neighborhoods where traumatic events have occurred and/or where there is a reoccurring presence of crime. The addition is supported by a grant provided by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services.

Merchant has worked as a probation/parole supervisor, Roanoke Police Officer and Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army.

“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,” adds Chief Sam Roman.

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