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Roanoke News

Posted on: September 16, 2021

City Selects Youth and Gang Violence Prevention Coordinator

The role is a new position for the City, as part of the effort to comprehensively address and reduce youth and gang violence and increase public safety.

The City of Roanoke announces the selection of Christopher Roberts as Youth and Gang Violence Prevention Coordinator, a two-year grant position funded by the $500,000 Virginia Gun Violence Intervention Program Grant awarded to the City in July. Roberts will coordinate activities and programs between the City departments, community groups, stakeholders, and agencies in the awareness, suppression, intervention and prevention of youth and gang-related activity.

Roberts comes to the City with extensive experience in coaching, advising, counseling, and collaborating with youth, families, and community stakeholders to support at-risk youth. His professional background includes serving at the Roanoke Valley Juvenile Detention Center, Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice, Hope Tree Family Services Cottage, as a member of the Virginia Gang Investigators Associations, and as a board member of the Kirk Family YMCA.

In his position, Roberts will also establish and maintain partnerships with appropriate community groups and agencies, assist with data collection, and compile information on a comprehensive Youth and Gang Violence Community assessment report. In addition, he will be asked to identify community resources available to assist with implementation of projects, develop public awareness through documents and publicity materials.

“The addition of Christopher Roberts as our Youth and Gang Violence Prevention Coordinator is a vital component of the City’s multi-faceted response to address gun violence,” said City Manager Bob Cowell. “His experience and skills will be an asset to this important initiative as we work to restore order in our City.”

For more information, please contact Angie O’Brien, Chief Strategy Officer for the City of Roanoke, at or 540-853-5309.


Community Engagement

The Office of Community Engagement within the Office of the City Manager focuses on building trusting relationships between government and Roanoke's community. Learn more at


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