StoryKing County Executive Dow Constantine and King County Councilmembers Julia Patterson and Kathy Lambert today announced an agreement to spend $1.245 million on gang prosecution and prevention programs in 2011 and 2012. King County Councilmembers Reagan Dunn and Larry Phillips praised the agreement and applauded the swift reaction to the gang violence that has plagued South King County.
“As soon as I heard about the developing gang war, I knew this was something that King County needed to jump on right away,” said Dunn. “This level of violence in our communities cannot be tolerated. I applaud Prosecutor Satterberg for raising this issue quickly and my colleagues for acting decisively.”
“Curtailing gang violence is critical to protecting the safety of King County residents, which is why I joined Councilmember Dunn in urging use of the criminal justice reserve to respond to this rising threat to public safety,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips. “I applaud Executive Dow Constantine and Budget Chair Julia Patterson for their leadership and responsiveness.”
Councilmembers Dunn and Phillips sent a letter to Executive Constantine on August 2, 2011 supporting Prosecutor Satterberg’s proposal for additional funding and requesting “a funding package that uses the Criminal Justice reserve to fight gang violence as soon as possible.” The agreement announced today expands the Prosecutor’s gang unit, restores a Sheriff’s storefront officer, and funds education and training programs for at risk youth.
“Tough prosecution combined with an increased focus on prevention is just the right mix of solutions to address this serious issue,” said Dunn. “As a former federal prosecutor, I know the importance of the carrot and stick approach to dealing with young people in our criminal justice system.”