Roanoke Police Developing Drug Market Initiative Hope For Commun - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Roanoke Police Developing Drug Market Initiative Hope For Community Involvement

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Roanoke Police are working together with the community to further develop the Drug Market Initiative.

The initiative, started in December of 2011, aims to eliminate violent crimes by giving first-time drug offenders a second chance.

Lt. Rick Morrison says, aside from continuous enforcement, police are looking at two strategies to help engage the community more, in order to continue seeing results.

"One of the barriers we're up against right now is to have community engagement," Morrison said. "I believe there's power in the strength of numbers."

Morrison says one focus will be on revitalization options to help with those improvements, and he is also working with faith-based groups in the area to help pitch in.

"We already have churches interested in helping us," Morrison said. "We know as an agency alone we can't solve all of the problems. We know it will take partnerships and community engagement."

Morrison said they are looking at various ways these faith-based groups could get involved and help with the initiative.

"When you have a force that wants to do good, nothing can stand against you," Morrison said.

The Roanoke Police Department reports violent crime is down 71 percent in the DMI area.