Following recent violent crime, Roanoke’s mayor and city council are taking to the streets in an effort to make neighborhoods safer.
They are teaming up with community groups, churches and schools to host a ‘Neighborhood Solidarity Walk’ Thursday night.
Just a day after a homicide in Roanoke, community activists we spoke with said it is as important as ever to take action.
“I’m getting tired of looking at the news, and that’s all that I’m seeing – who got killed last night,” said Shawn Hunter, who runs The Peacemakers, a group working to put an end to violence.
Hunter’s group is planning to participate in Thursday’s walk.
“Right now, we have elderly people that are scared to be in their homes,” Hunter said. “I get phone calls all the time – women that have been living in their houses for 50 years, and right now they’re scared of young adults that look just like them.”
“Everybody’s concerned about this,” said Mayor Sherman Lea.
City leaders and law enforcement have plans to combat crime during the summer months, Lea said. He said he wants neighbors to know city council cares.
“Let’s walk the streets,” Lea said. “Not ride by them, not ride through them, but walk the community and even talk to some of the neighbors and the citizens that are out there.”
People we spoke with said they are glad to see city leaders making safer streets a priority.
“It’s time for everybody to unite and say there’s got to be a better way,” said Durwin Bonds of The Peacemakers. “There’s got to be a better way to solve conflict.”
“The community has to be proactive,” Hunter said. “Not only in Northwest. It needs to be everywhere – Northwest, Southeast, Northeast.”
The walk is set to begin Thursday night at 6 p.m. at the intersection of 5th Street and Moorman Road NW, according to city officials. It will wrap up at the Hamlar-Curtis Funeral Home.