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KCPD using new tactics as violent crime rates continue to rise

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City, Missouri Police Department says it's facing a considerable rise in violence compared to last year. Now the department is launching a new initiative to help fight violent crime in certain neighborhoods.

Officers say they hope it stops crimes before they happen.

KCPD is calling it intelligence-led policing: identifying where the crime is occurring, and increasing police presence in that area to shut it down before it spirals out of control.

"Nationally, violence has been trending up and we have been suffering those same trends in Kansas City, Missouri," Maj. Scott Glaeser with KCPD said.

At this time last year, there were 47 homicides in Kansas City, Mo. There have been 66 so far this year -- a 40 percent increase.

The intelligence-led policing initiative is separate from the Nova program, which targets known people at high risk for being involved in violent crime. Those people, police say, are not the ones driving up the homicide rate lately.

"Some of the individuals related lately have been new individuals. Very low criminal histories. Individuals who are bringing weapons to a disagreement." Maj. Greg Volker with KCPD said.

Retaliation is the motive police have identified as the reason for much of the violent crime. On a bi-weekly basis, the KCPD Law Enforcement Resource Center will evaluate what parts of the city are at greatest risk for violent crime, and increase police presence in those areas.

"We are constantly adapting to change."

"Seeing more police don't scare these young men that is creating these problems, they could care less about that. What we need is someone who can go into the midst of the problem like cancer and help cure it," said Mark Porter with 100 Men of Blue Hills.

Porter has been on both sides of the law. He says it will take people like him to reach the small percentage of people in the community who are causing the majority of the violence.

"And we need financial assistance with that. That's the point they miss. They don't want financial assistance but they want you to assist without anything but you wouldn't have one police officer working if it wasn't financially motivated," Porter added.

"We are trying to talk to s many people we can, we are trying as many different things as we can, we want to try and solve as many problems we can in Kansas City and this is just our latest effort."

Officers from the traffic division, special operations and violent crime enforcement division will be the ones responding to the hot spots.