KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The U.S. Department of Justice has awarded Kansas City's No Violence Alliance, better known as KC NoVA, with a $1 million dollar grant to fight crime in the urban core.
The money will be used to clean up crime along the Prospect Corridor from 25th street on the north and 39th street on the south, between Paseo and Benton Boulevards. Now police will have an additional sergeant and four more officers to tackle crime in the 1.5 square mile area, but the emphasis won't be on making more arrests.
"Arrests and prosecution isn't always the answer, so what is the medicine that you can apply to the individuals in that social structure? Whether it be a knock at the door from a police officer, whether it's a knock at the door from a clergy member," said Kansas City Police Captain Joe McHale.
Captain McHale is the project manager for KC NoVA. He said investigators are using Social Network Analytics to identify chronic offenders, as if they were part of an ancestry tree.
"Say I'm a violent person and you're my friend and he's my friend, we can then look at the social structure of the people that are most influential in those groups and remove them through arrest and prosecution or deter them through help," said McHale.
Since KC NoVA began its data mapping two years ago it's identified more than 2,100 people, police wanted to track. In that time, 24 of those people are already dead. The KC NoVA grant combines police resources and social workers to offer services to gang members and others known to be at high risk of committing a crime. The hope is to reduce crime by offering social services to those willing to turn away from a life of crime.
"Trying to look for clients right now, but we have to be very careful, and the individuals we offer servcies to, they have to be the people most at risk," said McHale.