Chief Forte urges KC community to empower itself in pursuit of positive change

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City's top cop faced the public in hopes of reinforcing community efforts. Kansas City, Mo., Police Chief Daryl Forte stepped in front of the microphone Monday night to talk policing and improving the department's relationship with the community.

Chief Forte also took the opportunity to try and empower residents to make some of the changes they want to see in their communities. The chief spoke about urban blight, and its connection to crime.

He cited a homicide study indicating that between 2011 and 2014, 75 percent of the city's homicides occurred in a 34-square mile radius that's full of abandoned houses, overgrown lots and litter.

He urged folks to step up and be the change they want to see in their communities, but he also pledged to have his department offer assistance to citizens beyond their initial encounter with officers.

"We`re going to make a resource guide with all the things that are out there, when people say what can you do? We`re going to let you pull up that resource guide with all of the volunteer opportunities. Because what I get all the time is, 'Darryl what are you going to do to stop crime?' It`s much bigger than us,” said Chief Forte.

He also discussed the role KC NOVA has played in reducing crime, and helping offenders find alternatives to jail that are aimed at bettering their lives. He also discussed the need for officers to use tactful disengagement, instead of defaulting to using force.