Operation Ceasefire kicks off in KC, encouraging one weekend without gun violence

GRANDVIEW, Mo. -- Customers get more than just a nice haircut at one Grandview barbershop.

“As a kid growing up, the barber shop is like a pedestal in the cities. You can learn things from the barbershop,” said Andre McCallop, owner of Shear Kuttz barbershop in Grandview.

A barbershop is a gathering place to discuss current events and new ideas. In one of Shear Kuttz's chairs, the idea for Operation Ceasefire was born.

“Ronell was sitting in my chair, and we were talking about it, and he asked me to come on and be the main barber shop out south in Grandview. And that’s how it started. It went from there, just having a conversation in the chair,” McCallop said.

That resulted in a weekend full of events with the goal of stopping violence.

“Operation Ceasefire is a movement to try and stop the next gun shooting. We put this together because we have a high murder rate in our city," said Ronell Bailey, organizer of Operation Ceasefire KC.

The group has organized a series of events this weekend with a focus on fun.

“We have a wonderful gospel concert. On Saturday, we’ll be back here at the same location. From 12-4 we have a big old field day for the kids,” Bailey said.

And on Sunday, the weekend wraps up with free haircuts at seven area barbershops.

“This year we’re encouraging everyone to think something different, think positive. Let’s go the whole weekend without any gun violence,” Bailey said.

This is the third year for "Operation Ceasefire." The first year there was one homicide. Last year, there were a couple of shootings, but no one died.

“I have a couple of friends that have died due to gun violence and some family members so just not only me. I’m pretty sure it impacts everybody,” Bailey said.

To date, there have been 66 homicides in Kansas City this year. That’s down from 85 at this time last year.

“I hope it brings awareness to the whole community, so we all can come together in a collective effort and make this change happen for our community,” Bailey said.

Violence-free weekend runs from Friday night to Sunday night. Here’s a schedule of events planned for the weekend:

  • July 27: Gospel concert -- Doors open 6 p.m., concert starts 7 p.m. United Believers Community Church, 5600 E. 112th Terrace
  • July 28: Field day -- Noon to 4 p.m. United Believers Community Church. Bring your kids out for a free fun-filled day of food, fun and fellowship. There will be plenty of games, a bounce house and an open gym for kids to play basketball. Open to the public.
  • July 29 : Free haircuts -- 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Visit the following link to see locations for free haircuts.