ROANOKE, Va. – Since the start of this month, Roanoke has seen four different shootings, one of which was deadly.
Tuesday night, Roanoke’s Gun Violence Prevention Commission met to continue the discussions on how to stop these acts of violence.
During the meeting, the commission spoke about the idea to take a step back and narrow down its approach to focus on serving areas most affected by gun violence, like Northwest Roanoke.
According to data from Roanoke Police Department, over the last month, six shootings have been reported, all of which occurred in Northwest Roanoke.
They’re also looking to other cities, like Philadelphia and Chicago, on how they’re combatting this problem.
“One example of that being Philadelphia, which has an ‘Operation Pinpoint,’ which is essentially determining where the hot spots are, the higher crime rates, the higher risk youth and young adults, neighborhoods that are more greatly impacted by gun violence,” said Chairman Joe Cobb.
“And doing a concentrated effort with police, law enforcement, community leadership, neighborhood engagement, neighborhood patrol,” he added.
Another concern is the end of the school year.
Roanoke’s Youth and Gang Violence Prevention Coordinator, Christopher Roberts is working to put programs in place so kids can stay busy this summer.
“Programs are being geared up and put in place. Now, it’s about making sure the kids, families and individuals have access to that. Marketing is a key strategy to that to know where exactly these services are, who can participate in them and to make sure people have access to things that are more wholesome than violence,” said Roberts.
But before the school year ends, the commission is hoping to partner with the district to give out gun locks in hopes of preventing any more lives from being taken.
“We want to make sure gun locks are available and can be distributed to every household with students in Roanoke City Public Schools. We are waiting on them to see if this idea is possible,” said Cobb.