KC Police Chief meets with individuals to discuss strategies on preventing crime

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Police Chief Darryl Forté met with citizens individually Tuesday to discuss new tactics to curtail violent crime.

At 76th Street and Troost Avenue, one small business owner believes her idea can make neighborhoods safer.

Into Hair Naturally is one of dozens of salons and barber shops all around the metro area.

The owner believes these places can play a crucial role in preventing bloodshed.

Teresa Miller has been a licensed cosmetologist for nearly 30 years.

She said when people come to get their hair cut, they often bring their problems with them.

Through conversation and the business relationships, beauticians and barbers often can identify someone who's a ticking time bomb, before they explode in violence.

"All the beauticians and barbers all over the world, we hear everything," Miller said. "But it’s a conflict of interest if I tell you about his problem or her problem. So it’s basically a one-on-one thing. So, we have to be able to have the resources to refer them to where to go as far as committing suicide or whatever it is. Whatever problems you are having."

Miller wants to organize barbers and beauticians across the city to help police curb crime by learning about social services available, and then refer troubled clients to the resources that can help them turn their lives around.

Instead, she said too many wait for the violence to happen and see another life lost to the prison system.

Miller said Forté liked the initiative and may incorporate it as part of a series of new tactics to be presented to the community in coming weeks.