ROANOKE, Va. – The new Roanoke youth and gang violence prevention coordinator is ready to implement new strategies and grassroots efforts to tackle ongoing gun violence.
Christopher Roberts says the narrative needs to change from public safety to community health.
He says this will encourage the community to open up to other agencies and not rely solely on officers.
He wants to focus more on mental health and tackle poverty at its root to help prevent gun violence.
Seeing the impactful efforts in Danville, Roberts says the prevention coordinator encouraged him to be transparent and to be the voice for the community.
“The police shouldn’t be everything to everybody,” Roberts said. “They’re abilities are limited on what they can do. And we need them to let them be in their lane and allow the community stakeholders to be in their lanes to allow the community be in a healthy state.”
Roberts said he takes this job personally as Roanoke is where he was raised and he wants to put it back on a better path.