Roanoke City Police Chief addresses recent string of shootings

Gang-related crime is decreasing, the chief said

ROANOKE, Va. – A trend not new to the Star City: gun violence.

Despite millions of dollars in funding and countless new prevention programs, it’s still a problem we hear about constantly.

10 News spoke with Roanoke Chief of Police Sam Roman to ask about what’s being done to stop the cycle of violence.

He said one of the biggest approaches is working collaboratively with other city entities, like the Gun Violence Prevention Commission, the judicial system and other community organizations.

“One of the components of reducing crime is holding those accountable who perpetuate the crime. As I often mention law enforcement is just one small piece in the ecosystem of criminal justice,” said Roman.

One statistic is going down according to Chief Roman — gang-related crime.

Although that reduction hasn’t stopped the cycle of violence, these instances are not random.

“Would I consider it a success that our team is making end roads with some of the gang culture that we have seen in the past? Absolutely that is a success,” said Roman.

“It is equally a tragedy that in other incidents that we have seen in Roanoke over the past couple of weeks, that someone has lost their life. In many cases, as I have said in council [meetings], the victim and the perpetrator are known to each other, just not a gang culture relationship,” he said.

10 News asked the chief about his message for people who are frustrated with the gun violence continuously seen in Roanoke.

“I think the way to combat that is to instill hope. Ensure that people see that, with my cooperation and my input, I am apart of the process of stopping the culture of violence that we have seen,” said Roman.

About the Author:

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.