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‘Hot spot’ policing in KC working, chief says

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte calls it a "hot spot" success. Homicide numbers are way down in parts of town where Kansas City normally sees the worst crime.

"I keep sharing with the community that we're trying to do something," Forte said.

In fact, all four "hot spots" around Kansas City, Mo., have seen improvements. And Kansas City's year-to-date homicide rate in the metro is at an all time low at 42. By comparison, it's usually 45 to 50 at this same time in previous years.

"There will be times we`re not making progress, but hot spot policing is not just arresting offenders -- it`s nurturing relationships -- and we've been successful. Everywhere I go, people stop me and tell me they feel differently."

Community activist Tony Caldwell said he is one of those people who can feel the difference on the streets. Caldwell said community groups are working together to help police make a difference.

"Is it going to happen overnight? No. But we're not where we were last year by a long shot which is a blessing," said Caldwell. "Most of the shootings now are people who know each other. It's not gang-related like it used to be."

Chief Forte said some numbers are up -- like assaults and robberies -- but he said that's actually a good sign.

"I want the numbers to be up because now people are reporting it. Now as I go around and talk to people -- I say 'tell us what`s going on so we know where to put the resources.'"

One critic says the city is just pushing crime from one area to another. However, she said that just means community groups will have to continue to work together to make sure criminals know they aren't wanted.

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