COMMUNITY, PUBLIC SAFETY

PHOTO: Hundreds attend Salem’s Town Hall on Gun Violence, listening to 5 experts

For nearly two hours, an estimated 300 people listened to experts discuss the state of gun violence in Salem.

More watched the Town Hall on Gun Violence on television or their devices as Capital Community Media broadcast and streamed the event live.

Panelists at the Thursday, Feb. 16, event included Trevor Womack, Salem police chief; Ken Ramirez, security field coordinator for the Salem-Keizer School District; Troy Gregg, director of the Marion County Juvenile Dept.; Lynn Takata, chair of Northeast Neighbors; and Levi Herrera-Lopez, executive director of  Mano a Mano.

They took turns sharing numbers and facts about gun violence, including a surging number of local juveniles engaging in gun crimes.

Throughout the evening, those in the audience at the Elsinore Theatre wrote out their questions. A team of students from North Salem High School’s MECHA Club rounded up and delivered the questions to be posed to the panelists.

Among those attending were Marion County Sheriff Nick Hunter, Polk County District Attorney Aaron Felton, Salem City Councilor Julie Hoy and Salem City Councilor Linda Nishioka.

The town hall was organized by Salem Reporter following the release of the Salem Police Department’s report on gun violence trends.

WATCH THE TOWN HALL ONLINE: Capital Community Media video

CATCH THE PROGAM ON TV: Capital Community Media broadcast schedule

RELATED COVERAGE:

Cooperation, resources for young people key to addressing shootings, Salem experts say

Police Chief Trevor Womack is interviewed by a team from Portland TV station KOIN before the start of the Town Hall on Gun Violence at the Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. (LES ZAITZ/Salem Reporter)
The stage is set for the Town Hall on Gun Violence, held at the Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. (Salem Reporter)
Trevor Womack, Salem police chief, speaks at the Town Hall on Gun Violence at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
Trevor Womack, Salem police chief, speaks at the Town Hall on Gun Violence at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. Ken Ramirez of the Salem-Keizer School District listens. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
Panelists participate in the Town Hall on Gun Violence at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
Ken Ramirez, security field coordinator for the Salem-Keizer School District, speaks at the Town Hall on Gun Violence at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. Trevor Womack, Salem police chief, listens. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
Ken Ramirez, security field coordinator for the Salem-Keizer School District, speaks at the Town Hall on Gun Violence at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. Trevor Womack, Salem police chief, listens. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
Troy Gregg, director of the Marion County Juvenile Department, speaks at the Town Hall on Gun Violence at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
Troy Gregg, director of the Marion County Juvenile Department, speaks at the Town Hall on Gun Violence at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
Lynn Takata, chair of Northeast Neighbors, speaks at the Town Hall on Gun Violence at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
Lynn Takata, chair of Northeast Neighbors, speaks at the Town Hall on Gun Violence at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
Levi Herrera-Lopez, executive director, Mano a Mano, speaks at the Town Hall on Gun Violence at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
Levi Herrera-Lopez, executive director, Mano a Mano, speaks at the Town Hall on Gun Violence at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
Les Zaitz, editor of Salem Reporter, moderates the Town Hall on Gun Violence at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. Salem Reporter produced the event. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
Polk County District Atorney Aaron Felton listens to panelists at the Town Hall on Gun Violence in Salem on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
An audience member listens to panelists at the Town Hall on Gun Violence in Salem on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
An estimated 300 people listen to panelists at the Town Hall on Gun Violence at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. Salem Reporter produced the event. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
Julie Hoy, Salem city councilor and candidate for mayor, listens to panelists at the Town Hall on Gun Violence at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. Salem Reporter produced the event. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
A North Salem High School student gathers written questions from audience members to pose to panelists at the Town Hall on Gun Violence at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. Salem Reporter produced the event. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
An estimated 300 people gathered to listen to panelists at the Town Hall on Gun Violence at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. Salem Reporter produced the event. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
An estimated 300 people gathered to listen to panelists at the Town Hall on Gun Violence at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. Salem Reporter produced the event. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
An estimated 300 people gathered to listen to panelists at the Town Hall on Gun Violence at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. Salem Reporter produced the event. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
Alexis Tadeo, a mentor in the Taking Accountability Group, shows a group flier before the start of the Town Hall on Gun Violence. The event was Thursday, Feb. 16, at the Elsinore Theatre. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
An estimated 300 people gathered to listen to panelists at the Town Hall on Gun Violence at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. Salem Reporter produced the event. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
An estimated 300 people gathered to listen to panelists at the Town Hall on Gun Violence at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. Salem Reporter produced the event. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
An estimated 300 people gathered to listen to panelists at the Town Hall on Gun Violence at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. Salem Reporter produced the event. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
An estimated 300 people gathered to listen to panelists at the Town Hall on Gun Violence at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. Salem Reporter produced the event. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
An audience member crafts a question for panelists at the Town Hall on Gun Violence at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. Salem Reporter produced the event. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
Alexis Tadeo (from left), Enrique Bautista, and Steve Guerrero, mentors in Taking Accountability Group, talk before the start of the Town Hall on Gun Violence on Thursday, Feb. 16, at the Elsinore Theatre. Bautista founded the group for mentors to share experiences in street life, gangs and prison. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
An audience member crafts a question for panelists at the Town Hall on Gun Violence at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. Salem Reporter produced the event. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
A North Salem High School student gathers written questions from audience members to pose to panelists at the Town Hall on Gun Violence at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. Salem Reporter produced the event. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)
Rachel Alexander, Salem Reporter managing editor, and Ardeshir Tabrizian, public safety reporter for Salem Reporter, listen to panelists at the Town Hall on Gun Violence at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024. (LAURA TESLER/Special to Salem Reporter)

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Laura Tesler has lived in Salem, Oregon for 20 years and is originally from Flint, MI. Laura has been an underwater photographer for 15 years, and is an avid scuba diver. Topside, she has been taking photographs since age 12, and currently works on assignment for the Salem Reporter, and full time purchasing land for fish and wildlife habitat in the Willamette Valley. Laura attended Oregon State University, and has traveled extensively all over the world and the United States.