At the Sept. 21, 2020, City Council meeting, Council Member Bestpitch, on behalf of the Mayor and Council, read the following messages:
Message to Our Community
Roanoke City Council wants our citizens to know that we fully understand that they have serious differences of opinion on many issues of importance to them. We support everyone’s right to assemble and protest in a peaceful and lawful manner. We are confident that Chief Sam Roman and the officers of the Roanoke Police Department will cooperate with any person or group who exercise their First Amendment rights to demonstrate or protest and will work to keep everyone safe while preventing violence and vandalism that would undermine the intended messages. Our Police Department remains strongly committed to expanding and enhancing its community policing efforts while continuing to strengthen positive relationships with all our residents.
Message to Our Police Department
We want our officers and command staff to know that we fully support the Roanoke Police Department. We know that you take your pledge to protect and serve seriously and that you have chosen a difficult and often dangerous profession because you care about our community. We have set high standards for your performance, and we are confident in your abilities to meet our expectations and restrict the use of force to the minimum level necessary to protect the community and yourselves. We appreciate your Community Outreach efforts through programs such as RPD Reads, RPD Homework Helpers, Art with a Cop, Summer Lunch, the Lea Youth Outdoor Basketball League, and so much more. We are committed to working with you to maintain your excellent reputation and accomplishments.