Missouri Gov. Parson discusses crime, education and more during tour of Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Missouri Gov. Mike Parson began his visit to Kansas City with some of our smallest residents at the newest Spectrum Station learning center location in the Northland.

“It`s really special to have the governor and mayor here,” Kansas City Mayor Sly James said.

Parson discussed the importance of accessible early learning centers. He also stressed the need for a statewide rating system for day cares.

Next the governor, along with Mayor James and St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, visited KCPD’s East Patrol station and crime lab. There they were joined by Chief Rick Smith and Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker.

“The meeting that I was in, we talked about crime, Kansas City’s crime rate. We are not hopeless about Kansas City's crime rate, and we sure don`t want our governor to be hopeless about that,” Baker said.

She said in a closed session the group discussed improving the Jackson County jail and the crime lab backlog.

“These crime rates and these homicides, they affect everybody in Missouri. It`s just not these cities. I know they’re living it every day, and it`s happening on their turf, but it affects all people,” Gov. Parson said.

While discussing crime rates and solutions, the controversial issue of gun control came up as well.

“That`s a discussion we`ve actually had earlier today about our differences on that and how we do that,” Gov. Parson said.

The governor wouldn't elaborate, but his campaign website labels him a tireless supporter of the Second Amendment, and he sports a 100 percent rating by the NRA.

“It`s not just the governor. We've got a legislature we have to deal with as well,” Mayor James said.

After visiting the Urban Youth Academy, getting some good barbecue at Arthur Bryant’s and riding the Kansas City streetcar, the group addressed the Kansas City Council to close out the tour.

“I am very optimistic the way things are happening in the state of Missouri, and I think there is more good days to come,” Gov. Parson said.