South King County mayors call for accountability following recent rise in gun violence

City leaders in South King County are now calling for action and taking a regional approach to address the rise in crime.

The Mayors of Auburn, Kent, Renton, Tukwila and Federal Way will be meeting with King County Executive Dow Constantine, the King County Prosecutor, the King County Adult and Juvenile Detention and law enforcement to come up with a coordinated safety plan to hold criminals accountable.

"There has to be an accountability piece that if you’re going to commit crimes, especially violent crimes, that something will happen. That you’ll be worked through the system and we’re going to hold people accountable," said Mayor Dana Ralph of Kent. "In the philosophy of prosecution of drug crimes, change in state laws, COVID has played a part in the fact that we’ve not been keeping people in custody and there’s a backlog in the court system. A revolving door around our criminal justice system does not work nor does it keep our community safe."

RELATED: Kent Mayor issues statement following recent shootings

Ralph is now calling for a rigorous system-wide approach to end violence after a series of shootings near the intersection of Pacific Highway and Kent-Des Moines Road.

Detectives are investigating three shootings, including a deadly incident on Friday night that killed a 39-year-old man from Federal Way.

Kent Police detectives have been out all weekend checking on different crime scenes in response to the recent violence but the mayor says the police can’t do it all and all levels of the criminal justice system need to have accountability to put an end to the violence.

Mayor Ralph said the meeting isn’t scheduled, but the King County Executive’s Office said they will work with the City of Kent on this public safety issue.

Mayor Jim Ferrell of Federal Way said in addition to regional efforts, a Retail Safety Summit will be held to address property crimes like shoplifting, car theft and burglary.

He said the City of Federal Way will strongly advocate for changes to state drug laws and public safety policy this upcoming legislative session.

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