Kansas City Crime-Reduction Program shows promise
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Leaders of a program focusing on decreasing crime in Kansas City are hopeful that groundwork laid and lessons learned in 2013 will mean less violence in 2014.
The Kansas City No Violence Alliance uses a “focused deterrence” crime prevention strategy that has been successful in other cities, according to the Kansas City Star reports. The plan is that police officers and prosecutors focus on a few individuals who are a reason for the majority of violent crimes. Those types of individuals are a part of dangerous gangs or they have loosely organized criminal groups. They and their associates are informed that violence no longer will be tolerated and with that law enforcement strictness, there are also social services available which help those individuals looking for a chance to get rid of their criminal life.
2013 started with a hopeful note before KC NoVa staff were confronted with an upsurge in shootings and homicides attributed to people they had not accounted for. After a short period of time, they realized that the data they had collected did not include individuals going back to the streets after long prison sentences.
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, a member of KC NoVa’s governing board said, “That kicked off a whole bunch of violence this summer”.
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The number of Kansas City homicide again is on the first number but the program has adjusted.
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According to Capt. Joe McHale, KC NoVa project manager, the members of the targeted groups who are about to get out of prison are paid a visit and told, “We know who you are and we are watching you”. They are also given information about social services available to help them so that they can re-enter into the community and they are also told about the assistance they can get to exit the criminal life.
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He also said, “We are really going to be paying attention to their needs”.
The Rev. Rodney Williams, pastor of Swope Parkway United Christian Church heard community feedback about KC NoVa. He said that individuals are becoming more aware of and they are also encouraging what KC NoVais attempting to do. They are supporting the idea of KC NoVa.”They’ve built a good foundation. From the faith-based perspective, I see this as the hand of God moving in the community, bringing so many entities together for one common cause,” Williams said.
News Source: Stlouis.CBSLocal.com