Roanoke receives grants from Dept. of Criminal Justice Services for reducing gun violence

(Source: City of Roanoke, Virginia - Government/Facebook)
(Source: City of Roanoke, Virginia - Government/Facebook)
Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 2:46 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) -The City of Roanoke has been awarded two grants by the Department of Criminal Justice Services to help in reducing gun violence.

The first grant is for $25,000 and will go toward completing a Youth and Gang Violence Community Assessment. This assessment is set to begin in the near future and conclude by the end of 2021. The city says it will allow them to develop a plan of action for the identification, prevention and intervention of young and gang violence in the area.

The second grant - worth $500,000 - is for a Gun Violence Intervention Program. The program will be in use for a two-year period, which began June 1 of this year and will end June 20, 2023. The city says some of the funds will be used to hire a Youth and Gang Violence Prevention Coordinator and two Outreach Workers, who will be responsible for reaching out to kids and young adults with a high number of risk factors, as identified by the Community Assessment.

“These grants will allow the City and the Gun Violence Prevention Commission to take gun violence reduction to the next level,“ said 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.”

Working together on these initiatives is the Gun Violence Prevention Commission, the Roanoke Police Department, the City Manager’s Office, Roanoke City Public Schools and a number of community partners.

“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,” said 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.”

“These are action steps that we’re taking to make a difference in our community with regard to gun violence,” said 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.”

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