JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — Jacksonville City Council has adopted a resolution to support community efforts to address youth violence in the community.
The effort comes in the formation of a community-led panel called The Jacksonville-Onslow Blue Ribbon Panel for the Prevention of Community Youth Violence. Members include individual leaders in the community, county officials, Onslow County Schools, city officials and local law enforcement. At an initial meeting, members met to discuss how this panel can make a difference locally.
Public Safety Director Chief Mike Yaniero was a part of the conversation and spoke about the need for crime prevention efforts with local at-risk youth. This comes after the stabbing incident at Northside High School where a student was killed and another student and teacher were injured.
“Jacksonville Public Safety is working hard to prevent incidents like the stabbing at Northside High School from reoccurring,” Yaniero said. “Before school started, we more than doubled the number of school resource officers (SROs) in our schools in response to violence popping up in schools around the country. This move has proven to be a positive one in the fact that our SROs at Northside High School were on the scene in 20 seconds and prevented further violence from occurring. I applaud the establishment of this group. At their first meeting, a goal was set to look at comprehensive strategies that address the root causes contributing to violence in our community.”
In an earlier city council workshop held on Sept. 6, Mayor Sammy Phillips said that he and city council concur that a community panel addressing youth violence in Jacksonville has great potential in providing strategies for change.
“As a former police officer, as a grandfather and as your mayor, I take crime prevention seriously,” Phillips said. “I want every one of our citizens to feel safe in our schools, at work, at home and at play. I fully support the formation of a community-led panel that addresses youth violence and looks at solutions to eliminate this type of violence. I am happy to help advance their efforts, providing city staff assistance as we are able, and to be an advocate for the group.”