Roanoke Gun Violence Prevention commission plans public campaign to garner community involvement

Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 6:37 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Last month’s Gun Violence Prevention Commission meeting brought on a lot of discussion, including the need to publicize the group’s mission.

“We want to make sure that we look at every angle to get this word out and to reach as many people as we can,” says commission chair Joe Cobb.

Roanoke City leaders are buckling down on the message that it will take the entire community to solve gun violence.

“It’s critical,” he adds.

That’s why they are in the process of forming a public strategy including a citywide campaign and ways to reach youth to reduce gun violence in Roanoke. The ways they plan to connect will be vast.

“You can’t just do social media. You can’t just do print. You can’t just do TV or radio,” Cobb notes. “So what are the other ways? From door hangers to flyers to knocking on doors. We want to hear what reaches people.”

In the early research stages, the commission is working to figure out how people can best be reached, while continuing to be proactive as a group.

Cobb is calling this campaign vital.

“It not only communicates what the commission is doing, it not only communicates what all of our community partners are doing, whether they’re working on prevention, intervention or response, but it will give tangible ways in which citizens can become involved.”

The commission is hopeful community members will start seeing this campaign, one of the many tools used to prevent gun violence in the Star City, in the early fall.

“But in the meantime, we’re going to continue to do the outreach efforts like with the gun locks we’re providing Roanoke City Public Schools,” he explains. “Whether it’s supporting a program through one of our community partners—It’s a combination of communicating the work that’s being done, having public service based campaign that is collaborative and community wide about reducing gun violence in the community, and involving and inviting citizens to be a part of it.”

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