ROANOKE, Va. – After Roanoke police Chief Tim Jones made some controversial comments on rape in an unscheduled Roanoke City Council meeting in February, he finally released an apology Tuesday night.
In the meeting on February 19, Jones presented recent crime statistics showing 10 more reported rape cases last year compared to 2017. But it's the way he phrased it that has many upset, saying he's blaming the victims.
"All too many young women put themselves at risk when alcohol and social behavior goes bad, and that's what we are seeing the greatest in our investigations," Jones said at the meeting.
Below is the full apology from Tim Jones:
"During the February 19 Public Safety briefing with Roanoke City Council, I responded to questions from members of Council regarding the increased reports of rape and sexual assault. Regrettably, my explanation has sparked dismay within our community. I was attempting to convey information gained from our investigations as to how citizens might best protect themselves. I believe it is now clear that I failed to convey this information to the public in a manner that was sensitive to victims of rape and sexual assault. For this, I offer my sincere apology.
My hope is that we can collectively focus our efforts toward empowering all people within our community to keep themselves safe. The offenses of rape and sexual assault are offender based and should never happen to women in our society. My response to council concerning the increased instances of rape were not intended to hurt or lay blame towards any victim.
As Chief of Police, I am committed to the safety of our City. I want to assure each of you that the collective body of police officers here at the Roanoke Police Department are committed to putting the best interest of this City and the safety of its citizens first, as we continue to serve and protect all within our City."