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Roanoke Gun Violence Prevention Commission meets to address its focuses in coming weeks

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 11:47 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The City of Roanoke’s Gun Violence Prevention Commission meets every month. Tuesday night, the commission outlined what its operations will look like in the coming weeks.

Following role call, members immediately began to discuss the most updated crime numbers the Roanoke Police Department have provided. The data showed 2021 homicides (11), aggravated assaults (38) and domestic aggravated assaults (2) are all up so far this year compared to 2020.

A major focus of the commission Tuesday was addressing youth and gang violence in the community. Because of the $500,000 grant the commission received in July, it was allowed to hire a youth and gang violence prevention coordinator, along with two outreach workers. The commission expects to announce the coordinator hire later this week.

“It’s just going to increase the awareness of the work that we’re doing and give people someone to look to,” said City Council Member and Chair of GVPC Joe Cobb.

Cobb said they do have a general structure of expectations for the people who fill the roles.

“I think they are going to be focused on building those relationships and identifying preventative practices as well as intervention strategies.”

The grant is also helping the commission provide conflict resolution training to volunteers, mentoring and coaching strategies and violence prevention.

The commission thanks the community for its continued support and Cobb said it takes the community as a whole to continue making a difference.

For more information on the commission and its meetings, you can head to its website here.

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