New survey asks how safe you feel in Roanoke City

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 4:12 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Roanoke City continues to experience violence. It’s part of the reason the City was granted a formal assessment to find what’s contributing to the violence and how to stop it.

While an outside agency is doing the work, you get to have a say.

“I think all of us want to see really practical and tangible ways in which we can not only address violence but reduce it,” said Roanoke City Councilman Joe Cobb.

Cobb is working with Elite Business Strategies, LLC, the Gun Violence Prevention Commission and newly hired Youth and Gang Violence Prevention Coordinator Chris Roberts to get results. Roanoke City was one of just a handful of Virginia cities awarded the assessment.

The assessment will be done quickly; it will conclude by the end of the year, but aims to help the City understand where the issues lie and how best to direct resources available.

Assessors are already interviewing community members, but you have a chance to chime in too.

Just this past week, surveys were made available. There is one for residents, one for young people, one for community leaders and one for people who work directly with students.

“They’re kind of pointed questions,” said Roberts. “I mean from a community or resident standpoint it asks questions of, ‘Do you feel safe in your neighborhood, yes or no?’ If you say no, then it prompts you to a different question.”

The surveys are anonymous. They are available on the City’s website and in hard copies at City Hall and the Melrose Library. They’re also available in several languages.

“English of course but also Spanish, Haitian Creole, Arabic, Bosnian, Chinese and French,” Cobb said. “Which is a reflection of the diversity and where we’re seeing some growth in our community.”

City leaders like Roberts and Cobb urge residents to fill it out before the December 10th deadline, saying its a chance for your voice to be heard.

“That’s what this survey does,” Roberts said. “It gives your drop in the bucket as to what your concerns are and what you’re experiencing in your community and as a youth it gives you a voice to speak on what your experiencing as a youth in the community.”

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