Roanoke community forum aims to Stop the Violence

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) -- Violence across the country and an increase in violent crime right in Roanoke inspires some community members to take action.

They've put together a community forum with Roanoke's new mayor and newly named police chief leading the discussion.

Community activist Shawn Hunter wants to stop the violence in Roanoke.

"Until we have that conversation about what's truly going on in the community things are going to keep going on," he said.

Hunter is talking about violent crime: murder, stabbings, shootings, robbery. Police say there's been an increase compared to this time last year. It's why hunter organized a forum to give the community a chance to talk.

Robert Jeffrey will moderate.

"No one has all the answers," Jeffrey said. "So I think to have that kind of dialogue from the community it will hopefully bring some ideas and hopefully some possible solutions to help us in our community."

Hunter says everyone is welcome but the focus will be on a specific age group, the people he says are on the streets whether they're involved in crime or protesting crime here or around the nation.

"The ones that you were seeing this out there protesting are 18 to 35-year-olds. White, black and Native American, Latinos. This younger generation is the ones we need to target," he said.

Newly elected mayor Sherman Lea and newly appointed police chief Tim Jones will lead the discussion.

"They are proactive. They are very engaged and in the community so the primary goal is to target those that we see constantly getting in trouble."

It's a time he says, to talk, listen and find solutions.

The Stop the Violence community forum is Monday at 7 p.m. At Paradise Cathedral Family Center on Melrose Avenue.

It's open to the public.