Crime summit hopes to pioneer solutions that diminish violence

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - As KCMO ends a bloody weekend, a summit hoping to curb violent crime, ends it's first day. But people in crime-ridden areas are split on whether the attorney general's Urban Crime Summit will yield any real fixes.

The crime scene is one the city and state want to have less of in the future. That is why city and state leaders are all at UMKC for the summit. They hope to take the city off multiple lists, like one that declares KC is in the top 5 in the nation for homicides.

But those like Dee Conway, who grew up in one of the neighborhoods with high crime and still lives there, said she is skeptical about the summit.

"It's not going to stop the younger generation from killing from shooting, fighting," Conway said.

A map from the police department shows where most violent crimes have occurred from the beginning of this year, through the end of June. Police Chief Darryl Forte believes the summit has given him some great ideas to help curb crime. He said he is excited to come back. He said while he realizes people are frustrated, they can't give up.

"Government is not going to do it by themselves. We need people to step up in their communities and help make it safe, not just rely on someone else," Forte said.

That's what Wallace Hartsfield and his wife are doing when they decided to buy a home across the street from theirs.

"Bottom line is there is a real connection between homelessness and crime," Hartsfield said.

He said the house will help 15 homeless teen students get access to a hot meal at the dinner table, internet, clean bathrooms or even musical instruments to hone their skills or learn a new one. Hartsfield said he knows, crime is bad in his neighborhood, but he won't stop trying to make a difference.

"OK. We got to stop spouting statistics and how bad it is we need to pioneer some efforts," he said.

The summit goes into day two on Tuesday inside UMKC's Student Success Center. It starts at 9 a.m. and all meetings are open to the public. It moves to St. Louis the following two days.

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