KING CITY — Following two attempted murders on March 21, city leaders, staff and the police department held district meetings last week to inform residents of the ongoing investigation and what they can do to prevent crimes in the future.

The City of King was broken up by districts with five meetings in total held at various community locations around the city on March 25 and 26.

“As much as it pains us to say, we have a violence problem in King City,” Police Chief Robert Masterson said. “There are 13,000-plus residents of King City at any given time and there’s a handful of people in this city that are creating this problem.”

Masterson said that the large number of shootings and murders in King City are gang related. The shooting in front of the Robert Stanton Theater involved 10 shots fired and two shots hit the victim who was inside his vehicle. According to Masterson, most of those rounds hit the vehicle but some rounds hit the theater as well.

The City of King has a goal of addressing youth violence on an ongoing basis going forward, which was a reason the Youth Violence Task Force was created.

“We want to create a community that is safe for everyone and we also want to remove the barriers that violence provides,” City Manager Steve Adams said.

According to Adams, to reduce the violence or put a stop to it, there needs to be a major investment made and the community needs to get involved and participate. Several community members have already got involved by joining the 23-member Youth Violence Task Force, which developed a plan to end youth violence.

The Comprehensive plan is based on a PEER model, including ways to prevent the youth from becoming involved in gangs, intervention, enforcement and re-entry. The Youth Violence Task Force came up with the idea for an after-school program.

“We’ve done a lot of research and it shows the most effective way to fight this problem is for kids in early grades to get a good foundation,” Adams said. “Particularly in reading and writing.”

Adams said if that educational foundation was built before fourth grade, it gives the students what they need to be successful in school. If the foundation is not developed by fourth grade, then students start to struggle in other subjects and start to disengage from school, from the community and are susceptible to gangs and crime.

The city is also in the process of implementing new street lights throughout town as well as a citywide security camera system. Masterson said if residents were considering purchasing a camera security system, they

should point the camera toward the street to help in future investigations as well as motion-sensored lighting.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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