Roanoke City Council, Gun Violence Prevention Commission hoping for improvements in 2024

Funding concerns prompted an audit of the Gun Violence Prevention Commission in 2023

ROANOKE, Va. – Roanoke City Council and the Gun Violence Prevention Commission want better communication in 2024, especially when it comes to funding for grants.

The commission has fallen under a lot of scrutiny with the group receiving millions of dollars to help address gun violence yet homicides were at a record high this year.

According to 10 News data we’ve tracked, 26 people were killed by gun violence in 2023.

The commission was audited in the year after council members raised concerns over funding.

Now the commission has changed some of the framework of its funding process in order to make it similar to other commissions in the city.

Mayor Sherman Lea hopes communication can be better overall.

“If we go through this process this time, let’s just keep everybody in tune, especially this council,” Lea said.

The commission has $300,000 to distribute in grant money through American Rescue Plan Act funds. Organizations were allowed to ask for up to $30,000 in a grant. In total, the commission received 26 applications asking for $656,283.50.

Similar to last year, commissioners like Elliott Major will have to make a decision on what to fund versus what not to fund.

“There’s going to be a lot of very good proposals in here, but everybody can’t get what they want,” Major said.

Councilman Luke Priddy offered his sense in a joint meeting with commissioners over what he would like to see funded.

“Really look at which programs are not just asking to fill a gap in their budget but which ones are putting forward imaginative ideas about how they can work together where once they obtain this funding and time has passed, it will continue to live on,” Priddy said.

Organizations receiving the funds will have to spend the money by June 30.

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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