Roanoke hires RESET Coordinator to visit areas with ongoing criminal activity, traumatic events

Roanoke Valley News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The Roanoke Police Department has hired Lloyd Merchant as its Rapid Engagement of Support in the Event of Trauma (RESET) Coordinator.

The RESET Coordinator is responsible for leading a team of community volunteers to visit neighborhoods that have experienced traumatic events or areas where citizens are impacted by ongoing criminal activity.

Merchant will partner with the Study Committee to Reduce Gun Violence (formerly known as the Task Force to Reduce Gun Violence).  This group is comprised of members of the community, including educators, health care professionals, trauma-informed counselors, law enforcement and first responders, youth mentors, and citizens whose lives have been directly impacted by gun violence.

On Oct. 1, Mayor Sherman Lee conveyed the significance of continued strong police response to the recent increase in gun violence, while also acknowledging the importance of a comprehensive and long-term response. During this meeting, the Mayor, along with Roanoke Police Chief Sam Roman, shared the results of a joint operation with the U.S. Marshals Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force with the community. The operation resulted in the arrest of 138 individuals with 212 outstanding warrants, including the apprehension of an individual involved in gunfire on I-581.

“As a department, we are excited to bring another level of service to our community that we were previously not able to provide. There is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Merchant and his team of volunteers are going to greatly improve the quality of life for individuals in neighborhoods that are continuously impacted by violent crime. Mr. Merchant already has strong, existing ties to the community that will only enhance the work he will be doing.”

Roanoke Police Chief Sam Roman

Merchant recently worked as a probation/parole supervisor. He has also held positions as a Roanoke Police Officer and Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army.

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