Discussion on addressing gun violence continues at Roanoke City Council meeting

Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 10:11 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Gun violence is a topic that continues to be top of mind for the city of Roanoke and its residents.

“September 1st through September 27th, during that time period we confiscated 36 firearms which were seized. That brings the year-to-date total to 287 firearms,” said a captain with the Roanoke Police Department.

During Thursday afternoon’s Roanoke City Council meeting, the Roanoke Police Department and the Gun Violence Prevention Commission presented an update on gun violence across the city.

“What I’m hearing on the street is young people, most of them are packing a gun somewhere, is that the case?” asked Mayor Sherman Lea.

“That would be accurate of the individuals that we come into contact with and arrest, most of them are under the age of 30,” said a captain with RPD.

Some positives came out of the discussion, as the Youth and Gang Violence Prevention Team presented its yearly assessment, shining a spotlight on how far it has come in making sure families impacted by gun violence are receiving the resources they need.

“Those individuals that we come across that want to benefit from our case management services. now we’ve got priority in these spaces to get the them the services they need,” said Chris Roberts, the coordinator of the team.

The Youth and Gang Violence Prevention Team’s presentation clearly impressed City Council members of a step in the right direction when it comes to addressing the issue as a whole.

“I commend you. It is so refreshing like someone just said, gives us hope, that we are taking care, trying to do preventive measures,” said Council Member Anita Price.

The Youth and Gang Violence Prevention Team made it clear there are resources and it’s up to the community together to make sure those in need know where to go.

“Everybody qualifies for us because we’re trying to heal our community,” said Roberts.