TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — “It means everything to me,” says Royle King.
Monday, city and Leon County officials held a press conference announcing Royle King as the new Executive Director for the Council on the Status of Men and Boys.
This decision came after the Leon County’s Sheriff's Department conducted research surround homicides in the county.
“There were two options here. That we just accept the violence and what’s been going on in our community and say there’s nothing we can do about it, or we do something. We do something about it. And that’s exactly why the sheriff has taken the leadership and assembled us here today,” Leon County Schools District superintendent Rocky Hanna said.
Officials found that 24% of youth who have been involved in gun violence were either high school dropouts or were sent to a second chance learning facility.
Research also showed that gun violence was happening primarily with male age groups 15 to 24.
Now the question on everyone’s mind is what’s next?
“It is going to take all of us working together, mentoring children in our school, going out and beating the streets, going out and finding these kids and giving them hope,” says Hanna.
King is confident with his experience in mentorship he will be able to help turn things around.
“But a big part is going to be the prevention too. We have programs out here that are doing good work for young black boys, right. But some of them don’t have the resources and some of them don’t have the data to support what they’re doing. So, we’re going to also provide some of that to some of those programs," says King.
King is optimistic that the community as a collective can stop the violence within the community.