KCPD Changing How They Respond to Violent Crimes

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- When officers with the Kansas City Missouri Police Department arrive at work each day, they have no idea what their day will hold.

On Thursday, FOX 4 had the opportunity to ride along with KCPD Major Anthony Ell, a 27-year veteran of the force. But what was supposed to be a routine ride-along instead ended with a deadly shooting that highlights the city's problem with "black-on-black" crime.

According to authorities, a person was shot and killed near 61st Street and College late Thursday afternoon. The suspect was later apprehended by police at an apartment complex near 81st Street and Charlotte.

"This city has seen too many of those type of accidents over the years, especially during my 27-year career. I've seen too many of them," said Ell.

Both the victim and suspect are African-Americans.

"Victims of volent crime and homicide in particular have been African-Americans," said Ell. "I think numbers on average are about 80 percent of our victims."

In an effort to help cut down on the violence and arrest criminals, the department has begun sending two majors immediately to the scene of violent crimes. The majors have the authority to call in more resources immediately following the crime if necessary. Before, officers would often have to wait hours or even the next day to have the additional resources.

"It's realy effective if you have enough resources available at a homicide scene with a number of diferent things that can be done. It's shown that it can very effective and timely in the identification and arrest of the perpetrators that are involved in it," said Ell.

But Ell says that police can't do this alone - it's also important for officers to build relationships with the community so that people feel comfortable coming forward to report crime. Ell says that the department will begin working with churches, schools and other organizations to help curb crime.

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