KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – One of the east’s most crime-ridden cities is kicking policing up a notch. On Wednesday, officials announced they are bringing focused deterrence to Kinston.
We’ve seen focused deterrence in Greenville, and now it’s coming to Kinston. Officials say it’s a program with a proven track record.
The program discussed at Wednesday’s Governor’s Crime Commission meeting at Lenoir Community College brings criminals and partners of the justice system together.
“The focused deterred message was that we were going to not just throw out this wide net and try to arrest everybody. We had tried that before and we know it doesn’t work,” said former High Point Police Chief Louis Quijas.
At a meeting called a call-in, criminals are given an option to get their act together or face harsher punishments. The first of these meetings could come by the end of the year.
“You’ve got to do more than arrest. We not only got to tell people that you can’t do this, it’s not acceptable in the community, but you’ve got to give them options,” said Chief Bill Johnson with the Kinston Department of Public Safety.
“It’s a great opportunity for the city. I think that we have a great partnership. We’re going to work as a team to assist these offenders so that they become productive citizens, and that’s our goal,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jane Jackson.
As mentioned before, Greenville started this program about a year ago and has held two call-ins. Police say they are already seeing the great benefits it provides.
Wednesday’s crime commission was a call for action. Speakers stressed the importance of collaboration not only in getting criminals off the street, but in attaining funding to assist the fight.