Church closings & delays

‘Stop the Violence’ is a familiar cry in Kansas City, but what’s being done?

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Community advocates gathered Tuesday inside Kansas City's Sun Fresh at 31st and Prospect where owners were still cleaning up from the gunfire that injured an employee and a customer Monday.

"There comes a time when every individual in our community must say, 'Enough is enough,'" Pastor Ron Lindsay said.

In September 2015, that time came when a teenage mom, her boyfriend and baby were killed in a South Kansas City home. It was one of 20 homicides that month, spurring new cries for anti violence. The shine appeared to be wearing off KC NOVA, a coalition of prosecutors and law enforcement that had helped reduce violence the year before.

"People are dying. What I want to know is whether we are doing everything that we can to stop them from dying?" Mayor Sly James said as he formed a  Citizens Task Force on Violence that would meet for a year as homicide numbers continued to climb.

One of the key recommendations of the task force was to create a coordinator for anti-violence groups.

One of those nonprofits, Ad Hoc Group Against Crime, is right around the corner from Monday's Sun Fresh shooting. It's director, Damon Daniel. said anti-violence groups' work behind the scenes often goes unnoticed.

"If we didn't have all the groups we have trying to work on violence, I can`t imagine what the numbers would like. I can`t imagine how much more violent this community would be," he said.

But he said there needs to be collaboration to get to the root of violence's cause -- not just deal with the symptoms.

That's something the Violence Free Kansas City Committee is attempting to do.

Exactly one year ago the Kansas City Health Department partnered with the agency to treat violence like a disease. The health department conducted surveys to try to get to the root of the problem. Violence Free KC is now in the process of studying those surveys before it makes any recommendations.

So far this year, 89 people have been killed in Kansas City. That's behind the pace of last year's near-record total 151 homicide victims.

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