ROANOKE, Va. – As the year comes to an end, Roanoke Police Department and the city’s Gun Violence Prevention Commission are examining this year’s gun violence statistics.
Despite little change from last year’s number, the commission continues to be optimistic in their work.
During 2022, Roanoke Police reported a total of 65 shootings, 17 of which were deadly. Last year, there were 66 shootings, 15 of which were deadly.
“Sadly we are continuing to see an increase in violence even with intervention and prevention efforts,” said commission chair and council member, Joe Cobb.
Half of those shootings occurred in the northwest section of the city. The commission is focused on bringing prevention and intervention strategies into those neighborhoods, like upcoming planned Community Cookouts next year in collaboration with the Roanoke Redevelopment Housing Authority.
“We want to make sure their voices are heard and their ideas are heard and that we create opportunities to build out those ideas,” said Cobb.
The commission is looking at new marketing strategies in order to get the word out and have more successful events.
“The whole approach of the communication and marketing plan is to share the work that’s being done in our community, the good work that’s being done in our community, and how people can be a part of that,” said Cobb.
The first Community Cookout is tentatively scheduled for February 4, 2023 from 11:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Envision Center across from Lansdowne.
Another upcoming event put with the support of the Gun Violence Prevention Commission and the Youth Services Providers Collective is a city-wide talent show. The deadline for auditions for the YSPC Talent in the Star 2023 Competition is tentatively scheduled for January 28, 2023.