KCPD community forum attendees focused on addressing problems in their neighborhoods

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As police and protesters continue to face-off in Ferguson, Mo., officers in Kansas City, Mo., are focused on building a positive relationship with their community.

KCPD held open houses at all six of its patrol stations Tuesday night – community forums officers said were planned before the violence in Ferguson broke out.

People who showed up told FOX 4 their primary focus isn't on Ferguson, but rather on addressing problems in their neighborhoods here at home.

Dozens of them packed a back room at the police East Patrol Station. Each person had their own worries, questions and ideas about how to improve their neighborhoods.

"I think everyone wants to feel proud of where they live or they would like to come home to a place that's safe, so that's important to me," said Darren Moten, who has lived in KCMO his entire life.

Officers focused their attention as the conversations shifted from how to prevent property crimes and violence, to plans for a new patrol station and strategies for organizing neighborhood associations.

"To bring back hope," was Rachel Riley's goal. "Once we can come together as community, neighbors, leaders and residents and just take back our community."

They were conversations officers hope build transparency and trust.

"So we're not just a blue suit that's coming out there," explained Captain Mark Terman. "We're not just a badge, that we're people just like they are and trying to help them in what they need."

It's a police-community partnership people believe can make a difference.

"I think if we come together and address the problems we're having in our community, we can make our community a safer community to live in," Riley said.