KCPD focusing on crime in Ivanhoe, encouraging residents to fight crime with tech

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's considered one of the metro's most dangerous sectors.

The Ivanhoe neighborhood on the city's east side has been home to violent crimes for years, and residents say they want it stopped.

Now, police are focusing on Ivanhoe and encouraging residents to use technology to prevent crimes. Around 7,500 people call Ivanhoe's streets their home, and Kansas City Police say they want to help them.

Kansas City police officers, such as Officer Andy Hamil, are beginning a door-to-door campaign, asking Ivanhoe residents to use Ring doorbell cameras to help them ease this neighborhood's aggravations and to seek solutions together.

As Hamil knocked on doors, as he did Thursday morning at 37th and Woodland, he brought encouragement for residents, as well as a flier that detailed resources offered by the police department. The brochure also detailed the strengths of reporting nuisance crimes to the authorities, and multiple ways citizens can summon law enforcement for help.

"It's not many neighborhoods that have five homicides within a two-block radius. We're going to try a new solution to an old problem," Hamil said.

There are also serious talks about Ring cameras.

Kansas City Police, through the Watch KC program, have seen success building a network of those cameras across town, and they're proving to be a great asset to police when dealing with community crime.

"That kind of tells us where cameras are in that area. It gives us a quick turnaround time in case there's an incident in that area," Hamil said.

"We want to do this to get some face-to-face and some transparency and find out what their needs are, and find some solutions to issues that may have been bottled up inside," Hamil told FOX4.

The need to concentrate on Ivanhoe is there. KCPD crime statistics show the number of violent crimes and property offenses officers have worked in that east Kansas City vicinity are on the rise.

2018 statistics for Ivanhoe include:

  • Homicides - 13
  • Robberies - 69
  • Aggravated Assaults - 158
  • Larceny - 151
  • Auto theft - 112
  • Arson - 4

"What they don't have is community members reaching out to the police department, residents in the neighborhood reaching out to us asking for assistance, so we're going to go to them," Hamil said.

The offer of more assistance is welcome news to many homeowners in the Ivanhoe neighborhood. Bryce Bradford, whose family has lived in that vicinity for generations, now works with the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council.

"Hopefully, people will be very receptive of it and try to help them where they can help them. We need this community to be safer, not just for ourselves, but for the community we're bringing up behind us and our kids," Bradford said.

This door-to-door effort is expected to go on for a few months. Hamil said he hopes to see a drop in crime if neighbors will help work toward change.

The Ivanhoe initiative is part of KCPD's Community Policing effort. Hamil said it's helped the department enjoy a drop in crime as high as 16 percent in some at-risk neighborhoods.

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