KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – State officials visited Kinston Mayor Don Hardy’s Crime Intervention Task Force on Thursday morning to share resources and information regarding crime intervention in the state.

State officials included North Carolina Department of Public Safety Secretary Eddie Buffaloe and the Governor’s Crime Commission Executive Director, Carolina Farmer.

“We need this, we need this, and we’ve needed it for some time. This is going to help, you know, deter, prevent crime and hopefully put folks in a better position in life,” Hardy said.

Buffaloe spoke on the need for collaboration between the state and local level.

“This is a whole of community approach where we need everybody,” Buffaloe said. “As I go around the state, if you see something, say something. Law enforcement and communities should do something.

“This has a vital impact in our emergency rooms, it has a vital impact in our communities in which we live, work, play, recreate and educate within North Carolina.”

He added the Department of Public Safety is pushing efforts to help task forces statewide.

“We’re doing awareness campaigns, firearm storage campaigns, share and promote data across our state and collaborate research institutions identifying federal dollars to support task forces,” Buffaloe said.

Farmer said strong community ties are needed to address crime, adding there has been an increase in crimes among youth across the state.

“We’re seeing a jump in juvenile. Juvenile crime. Juvenil homicide against other juveniles,” Farmer said. “Most of those crimes are statically higher in rural locations.”

Farmer said crime prevention needs a targeted approach.

“Now imagine a targeted approach in those locations that helps with mental health, it helps with substance abuse, it helps with jobs and education,” Farmer said. “It’s social services. It’s a grandma taking care of the whole neighborhood kind of thing.”

For more information on the State Office of Violence Prevention, click here.

Click here to learn more about the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.

To learn more about the Governor’s Crime Commission, click here.