WITN 7: Kinston Mayor unveils five-part plan to fight crime



The City of Kinston unveiled their plans to fight crime in the city Monday morning.

Mayor BJ Murphy announced initiatives the city and community will be implementing in the coming days.

Murphy was joined at a press conference by Public Safety Director Bill Johnson.

Both men say gangs are a problem in Kinston. This year, 32 people have been wounded by gunfire in the city.

Murphy says on October 21st there will be a day a mourning and prayer, along with a candlelight vigil at Kinston High School. The mayor called on churches and religious leaders to help them take back the streets.

They are also working on a plan to get high school students more involved in helping to fight crime.

Police are also going to re-start Crimestoppers, an anonymous program for information that leads to arrests of suspects.

Johnson says most of the victims and suspects in the shootings this year were on probation, or pre-trial release for previous crimes. He says this “catch and release” with the court system just isn’t working.

The plan also includes the “to catch a criminal” program, which will feature wanted Kinston criminals in the paper.

Murphy says any information you have about them could reward you $500.00.

Kinston also recently added more officers to their gang unit.

City leaders hope to be awarded a choice neighborhoods grant which would help the city redevelop neighborhoods and replace some public housing with high quality, low density, mixed income housing.

Updated: Mon 6:57 PM, Oct 13, 2014