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Officials speak on the rise in violence in Kern County

People are not valuing each other’s lives.
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Posted at 10:33 PM, Aug 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-13 01:33:35-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — According to 23ABC’s homicide tracker, there have been eight homicides in the last week in Bakersfield.

"Ultimately it comes down to that there is a problem with violence in our community. It is not unique to Bakersfield, nationally we are seeing an elevation in that,” said Sergeant Robert Pair with Bakersfield Police Department.

Pair said they responded to other calls for public safety over the weekend.

“In that same time just on Saturday and Sunday in the city of Bakersfield, we also seized 8 firearms from prohibited persons,” said Pair.

Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer said that public safety continues to be an ongoing issue across the state.

"Public safety in California is in chaos, it is in chaos with Governor Newsom at the helm and he has done nothing to try to help with public safety and he’s only made bad matters worse,” said Zimmer.

Despite violence being an issue across the state, Zimmer said it is even worse in Kern County.

“Unfortunately, we also have the highest homicide rate in Kern County per capita than any other state in California, and there are a lot of reasons I think for that but number one is that we have so much gang violence,” said Zimmer.

Pair agrees that gang violence may be one of the causes because when it comes to gang violence it is ongoing.

“Even though we’re seeing elevated levels of violence in Bakersfield in 2021, consistently it's 40-50 percent with some sort of nexus or linkage to gangs,” said Pair. “When you get one shooting, you see it being followed up by additional shootings,” said Pair.

Pair also added that people are not valuing each other’s lives.

“What we’re seeing is that people don’t value human life and people are going straight to shooting each other over relativity innocuous or unnecessary incidents,” said Pair.

The current investigations are still ongoing so, if you have any information officials said, please call the secret witness hotline number (661- 322-4040).