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Gun Violence Prevention Commission goes over recent survey, 2021 statistics during first meeting of the year

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 11:24 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - During the first meeting of the year for the Roanoke Gun Violence Prevention Committee, members digested a lot of numbers.

From a monetary perspective, members learned how $2 million of COVID-19 relief funds Roanoke has received will be spent by the commission.

Some of the breakdowns include:

$250,000 going to Youth and Gang Violence Prevention Unit Support,

$200,000 to lighting and cameras in downtown and

$400,000 on the commission’s violence interruption proposals,

Members were next guided to statistics for the remainder of the meeting, learning a brief summary of the Roanoke Youth and Gang Violence Community Assessment.

964 responses for the assessment were received.

”The number of responses we gathered in the reporting exceeded the desired amounts in every category, so we feel good about what we got from the community, but we also got enough information to know where we need to adapt, rewrite questions, and look deeper into questions for when we do this again in coming months and years,” said commission member Reverend Tim Harvey.

Questions on the survey ranged from asking about gang affiliation and what should be done about gang activity, to which organization is most responsible in dealing with gang activity.

The meeting ended with a brief overview of 2021 gun violence statistics.

In the last year, homicides are up from 11 to 16.

Aggravated assaults increased by 6.

62 percent of incidents involving gunfire occurred in northwest, and the majority of incidents happened between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.

”We certainly hope that in terms of gun violence that 2022 will show a downturn from 2021; we all want that. We have great community concern and community awareness but how do we all speak the same language,” said Harvey.

The next meeting for the commission is set for February 8 at 5:30 p.m.

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