City of Roanoke Provides Response to Recent Increase in Gun Violence

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On Thursday, Oct. 1, Mayor Sherman P. Lea, Vice-Mayor Joe Cobb, Roanoke Police Chief Sam Roman, and U.S. Marshal Tom Foster held a press conference addressing a recent response to the increase in gun violence in the City of Roanoke.  

According too the statements given, the U.S. Marshals Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force and Roanoke Police worked side-by-side for two weeks to serve active criminal warrants. Thanks to the efforts made by members of both agencies, 212 warrants were served and 138 people were apprehended. All acknowledged that the work could not have been done without the assistance of the community and that citizen’s contribution are vital to the success of any law enforcement endeavors.

Operation Street Sweeper resulted in the following:

  • 212  Warrants Served
  • 138 Subjects Apprehended
  • 18 Firearms Seized
  • $3,761 USC Seized
  • 116.2g Heroin Seized
  • 458.6g Meth Seized
  • 2.73g Crack Seized
  • 1 Vehicle Seized

“We at the Roanoke Police Department are taking the increase in violent crime seriously. RPD, along with our community, state, and federal partners, will use every means available to specifically focus on those individuals who choose to engage in this violent lifestyle,” said Chief Roman. The Roanoke Police Department is currently realigning staff and current resources to address those individuals – citizens will learn more about that, and what it will look like in the near future. This will include a more focused approach on gang culture and organized crime.

Mayor Lea urged the Roanoke community to work together and reject the premise that gun violence is an acceptable response under any circumstance.  “Today we join together to let you know that we have been working with partners to focus on intervention, prevention and yes, policing.  Through these efforts, law enforcement is identifying and seeking out specific offenders and making arrests that make our community safer,” Lea said.

The City of Roanoke said it would also continue working with its partners on the Task Force to Reduce Gun Violence to address long-term issues and impacts associated with gun violence.   For more information about the Task Force, visit www.roanokeva.gov/taskforcetoreducegunviolence.

Chief Roman had a message for Roanoke residents: “It is important to note the increase in violent crime incidents did not happen overnight, nor will the solution become evident overnight; but together, the community, which includes law enforcement, community based advocacy, prevention programs, and a host of additional partnerships — we can make a difference.   To the members of our community who are dealing with violent behavior and criminal activity in your neighborhoods, we can work together to make an impact on this violent crime. We appreciate you working with us toward this endeavor, as I’m sure that’s what all of us want – a safer Roanoke.”