Roanoke police chief Joe Gaskins is trying to spin his way out of a ranking that, for the first time, places the city within the top 100 most dangerous cities in the United States.
Roanoke’s move up the rankings is no real surprise. Anyone who has come out of a store or restaurant there to find their car broken into knows the city’s crime rate is sprialing out of control. The city’s own crime statistics shows the city has the state’s highest rates of rape and aggravated assault, although Roanoke did drop from second to fourth in state rankings of overall crime.
The rankings by survey firm Morgan Quitno, shows aggravated assault, homicide, robbery and burglary increased in Roanoke last year.
“We’re not where we need to be,” says city councilman Sherman Lea. “We’re not where I would like it to be.”
But as dangerous as Roanoke may be, Mogan Quitno says the city is still safer than Richmond, Portsmouth and Norfolk.