‘Let’s be proactive’: Roanoke City Council discusses gun violence after NYE weekend shootings

The suggestion came up during a Roanoke City Council meeting

ROANOKE, Va. – One of the top priorities for Roanoke city council in 2023 is going to be addressing and combatting gun violence in the city.

10 News spoke with Mayor Sherman Lea after a weekend of gun violence. During the interview, Lea mentioned presenting a curfew for teenagers during the city council meeting on Tuesday.

While the idea was briefly touched on towards the end of the meeting, nothing was voted on.

Lea wants the council to take a much more proactive approach when it comes to gun violence this year.

“I’m seeing kids that are walking out of the house and getting shot…getting shot. I want us to move on it but I want us to talk more about it. I don’t want to get bogged down in the bureaucracy about it. We need something. Let’s be proactive, not wait until something happens,” Lea said.

[Two juveniles injured in Northwest Roanoke shooting on New Year’s Eve]

Other council members are not opposed to the idea of a curfew. However, some of them want the communities input before implementing anything.

“So that we can hear from the public as to their thoughts on what we have here outlined for the implementation of a plan of action for gun and teen violence,” Councilwoman Stephanie Moon Reynolds said.

Chief of Police, Sam Roman, has a very similar approach when it comes to his staff. He also wants to be very proactive and not reactive.

During Tuesday’s meeting, city council approved a grant that will fund new technology to help law enforcement reduce violent crime. Some of the technologies include making a real-time crime center along with license-plate recognition technology.

“We have to make sure we are on the cutting edge of innovation to make sure that we’re able to interrupt what seemingly seems to be a continuing cycle of violence that we are seeing here in our city,” Chief Roman said.

The chief touched on the fact that 2022 was the third-highest murder rate in Roanoke in the city’s history.

About the Author

Connor Dietrich joined the 10 News team in June 2022. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, he's ready to step away from the Rockies and step into the Blue Ridge scenery.

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