Kinston Crime Intervention Task Force meets for first monthly meeting to reduce gang violence

KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) – The Kinston Crime Intervention Task Force met for the first time Thursday to discuss gang violence and crime prevention in the city.

Kinston Mayor Don Hardy says, “I hope that we are able to provide the necessary resources for those who need it the most in the time that they need it most to help curve or cut crime off at the core. Going in the homes and creating these sub-committees and get the right folks to make it able to provide.”

The new task force will meet monthly to address crime-related issues and identify solutions to help reduce the rate of crime in Kinston. Mayor Hardy appointed chiefs and vice chiefs to various sub-committees to get to work.

One sub-committee chief is excited to incorporate faith in the youth of Kinston. “When we as pastors and church people get to love on kids and parents, and just help them and give them resources– let them know that Jesus loves them, then hopefully they make better decisions as they go forward,” 902 Church’s Lead Pastor, Ryan Vernon told WITN.

This task force comes after a wave of violence rocked the city late last year, the majority of which was gang or youth related. Due to this, Hardy’s main focus is the youth. “We’re targeting our youth but we want to touch the family as well because that has an impact on how that child will survive or will do in the school system and become a better person as a whole.”

“You can see an uptick in 10 minutes, 2 hours, or in 2 weeks. It’s up to our citizens to make better decisions when it comes to violent crime and put those guns down,” said Keith Goyette, Kinston Interim Police Chief.

The meeting took place at the Kinston Police Department training room at 10 a.m. and the next will be held at The Gate Conference Center in Kinston on February 16th at 10:30 a.m.