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KC police work with community in effort to end crime

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Saturday, Kansas City Police tried something new: a city wide event called Kansas City United Against Crime.

At six events in different Kansas City, Mo. neighborhoods, the same message was shared: End crime across the city.

From a drum line echoing in an old O'Hara High School cafeteria, to a drill team in the Park Hill High gym, to a cake walk in a church basement in Waldo, Saturday was all about community.

At six sites around Kansas City, activities like that took place. Marisol Green performed in that church, so did her friend Taneca Alexander.

"Officers are just trying to help people, support the community, and protect people," 11 year old Alexander said.

And it was all with the goal of safety. "It's crime prevention - and that's what we do," said Kansas City Police Officer Robert Pavlovich. "That's why we want to do now with the community."

By drumming up neighbors and other friendly faces, and pairing them with local organizations and information, law enforcement hopes to bring the crime rate down.

KCP&L, for example, handed out 2,500 bags that included 4 light bulbs. Police say 90% of property crimes occur in the dark. 10,000 light bulbs, they reasoned, could prevent some of that.

Pavlovich looked around the Park Hill hallway where organizations and businesses set up booths and tables. People milled about, shoulder-to-shoulder with others from the area they didn't yet know.

"We don't want to deal with the crime, we want to prevent it," he explained. "At the end of the day, we don't want any crime, if possible. And this is one of the ways we can achieve that."

This is the inaugural year of Kansas City United Against Crime. Kansas City's Police Chief strongly encouraged the community involvement program, and organizers hope it will be the first of many.

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