Roanoke City and local church leaders took to the streets Saturday morning to make a difference in a struggling community.
Lt. Rick Morrison with the Roanoke Police Department says that the walk comes after the city launched a "Drug Market Initiative" program last September to wipe out crime near Melrose park.
"The area is what we call a hot spot. We have seen a big drug problem here, gang activity and even prostitution." Morrison said.
Morrison says that since the initiative was launched, crime in that area has decreased by more than seventy percent.
"We have done what we can from a police stand point, now its time for the community to get involved. We want the community to feel safe on these streets."
The walk began with a prayer meeting by various churches in the Roanoke Valley. The diverse crowd stood beside officers and bowed their heads in prayer together, praying that the community can continue to grow in the right direction.
Morrison says the turnout for the event shows that the community is ready to change.
"Ultimately it shows them that they have not been forgotten," Morrison said. "There are many people, not just in the city, but from all over who really care about each person and their welfare and to see the community thrive."
WSLS will have more on this story coming up tonight at 6.