Roanoke, Virginia

Roanoke police officer at desk

Roanoke Police Badge

Site LE Agency
Roanoke Police Department

Site Researcher
Rachel Santos, Ph.D. & Roberto Santos, Ph.D., Center for Police Practice, Policy and Research, Radford University

Site Focus
Violent and gun-related crime

SPI Strategy
Offender-focused strategies

Site Cohort

Site Profile
Small urban area of 42.85 sq. miles with a population of 99,920

Project Overview

The goal of the Roanoke SPI is the development and implementation of a regional system of policies and procedures for the use of technology to support a proactive offender-focused approach to addressing violent and gun crime. The criminal justice agencies within the Roanoke SPI will implement an innovative technology solution that streamlines communication, increases transparency, and facilitates both real-time and evaluative accountability both within and across the agencies. The regional partners include the City of Roanoke Police Department,   the Town of Vinton Police Department, the Town of Salem Police Department, the Roanoke County Police Department, the Roanoke County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Roanoke Sheriff’s Office, the Virginia Commonwealth Attorney, and, the United States Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Virginia.  Radford University’s Center for Police Practice, Policy and Research will serve as the research partner. An inter-agency structure for communication and collaboration will be facilitated by the web-based agency management software which includes real-time communication threads, arrest alerts, a crime pattern bulletin-maker, and accountability statistics. The regional effort will take a Stratified Policing approach by addressing violent crime at the immediate, short-term, and long-terms levels and will use the SARA problem solving process to identify areas of violent crime and individual violent offenders, conduct in depth analysis of areas and individuals, select appropriate responses based on the analysis, and measure the impact on crime and recidivism.  Lastly, an overall process assessment of the efficiency and effectiveness of the technology implementation will be conducted.

Data Highlight

  • The City of Roanoke has seen a significant uptick in shots fired and stolen guns over one year, seeing increases of 68.26 percent and 81.08 percent, respectively.
  • Reports of gunshot wounds increased by 21.82 percent over one year.
  • Offenders frequently travel throughout the 308.5 square miles of the Roanoke Valley.