Group hopes to keep peace on KC buses

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Since 1997, The Peacekeepers have been in schools, at community events and even traveled to gang turfs in Kansas City. Now, they want to ride city buses in hopes of curbing violence.

Vickie Ralls is a peacekeeper and she’s also been a Kansas City Area Transportation Authority bus driver for eight years.

After hearing a fellow driver was attacked on a city bus by two passengers last week, and a bus was shot at on Thursday, now more than ever Ralls is concerned about her safety.

“It’s been frustrating,” she said. “It’s been very scary. We don’t want to go home with stab wounds or gunshots. We want to go as we came.”

The group of everyday citizens, who are trained in martial arts and unarmed, say they want to stop the violence on the city buses.

Initially, their goal is to put two peacekeepers on buses covering five routes in Kansas City’s “high crime” neighborhoods.

“They will pay their fare like everybody else to get on the buses and just ride the buses,” said Bishop Tony Caldwell of Community United.

Peacekeepers say they want to mediate all confrontations before the arguments escalate and step in if necessary.

In a statement, a KCATA spokesperson said “We aren’t familiar with them [The Peacekeepers], however, we welcome everyone to ride the bus and be alert and be watchful and call 911 if they see dangerous and illegal activity.”

There are more than 600 actively involved in the group in the metro area. They could begin riding buses as early as this weekend.

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