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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Urgent gun violence prevention investments in Executive Constantine budget proposal

Summary

Executive Constantine introduced new priority investments to prevent gun violence, including scaling up the Regional Peacekeepers Collective in a new emergency budget amendment proposal to the County Council.

Story

King County’s public health approach to ending gun violence will expand the Regional Peacekeepers Collective, which includes partnerships with community groups around the county including White Center and Skyway, under a new emergency budget proposal by King County Executive Dow Constantine.

The emergency budget amendment, sponsored by King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, will include $1.47 million in investments to curbing gun violence through data-driven identification of the groups and neighborhoods at the highest risk of being involved in a shooting, increased community engagement, and increasing community staffing with employees to connect community members to services and support opportunities.

"Stopping the gun violence our community witnessed last weekend in the Central District, White Center, and Pioneer Square requires more than just a criminal justice response - it requires the upstream, public health-based interventions we know can help unwind conflict and prevent future tragedies," said Executive Constantine.

The proposed amendment to the omnibus budget includes:

  • $768,000 – Ten additional violence interrupters, case managers and life coaches hired through community partners to develop trusting relationships with clients (White Center, Skyway, Burien, Kent, and Central District).
  • $100,000 – Consultants to leverage the experience in Oakland to build problem analysis and provide other technical assistance such as identifying groups, neighborhoods and individuals at the very highest risk of being involved in a shooting.
  • $374,000 – Extend existing community contract positions to support violence interrupters, case managers, and life coaches
  • $227,000 – Additional staff capacity to launch and support the Regional Peacekeepers Collective

The proposal would expand the work of the Regional Peacekeepers Collective, which has been leading gun violence prevention efforts by the county, including distributing free lockboxes in Skyway and Kent. The Peacekeepers work on the principles of intervention, prevention, and restoration to stop violence help ensure wrap-around services and coordinated care.

"In what is shaping up to be a record breaking, heartbreaking year for gun violence in our country, interventions that place people and communities first are going to be integral to stop this pain," said King County Councilmember Joe McDermott. "And we know this pain too well here in King County, with the tragedy in White Center this past weekend still fresh and devastating for our community. From community violence to interpersonal violence, the Peacekeepers Collective can and will make a big impact once we deliver this support."

In addition to the shooting in White Center that killed two people and wounded two more, another person was shot in the Central District over the weekend. A total of 69 people were shot in King County during the first quarter of 2021, the vast majority of whom are male and people of color. 42% of the victims were between the ages of 18 and 24.


Relevant links


Quotes

Stopping the gun violence our community witnessed last weekend in the Central District, White Center, and Pioneer Square requires more than just a criminal justice response - it requires the upstream, public health-based interventions we know can help unwind conflict and prevent future tragedies.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

In what is shaping up to be a record breaking, heartbreaking year for gun violence in our country, interventions that place people and communities first are going to be integral to stop this pain. And we know this pain too well here in King County, with the tragedy in White Center this past weekend still fresh and devastating for our community. From community violence to interpersonal violence, the Peacekeepers Collective can and will make a big impact once we deliver this support.".

Joe McDermott, King County Councilmember

For more information, contact:

Chase Gallagher, Executive Office, 206-263-8537


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

Read the Executive's biography