Grandview sees major drop in crime with proactive policing

GRANDVIEW, Mo. -- Grandview is seeing a big drop in crime. Police say a new public safety sales tax and some new strategies are helping turn a corner.

Pastor Tom Worstell has spent a lot of time praying for his city. But in the heart of Grandview, it felt like a lot of years went by with prayers unanswered.

"When we first moved here about 20 years ago, the city didn't have the best reputation for sure," said Worstell, pastor of Southview Christian Church.

Worstell said there was a time his church almost picked up and left the city. But instead, they've now firmly planted roots and are investing in the community and trying to make a difference.

"We made a commitment that we are going to do everything we can to help out this city, and we got involved in everything we could think of," Worstell said.

It's those kinds of commitments and partnerships with police that are helping give Grandview some serious positive momentum.

"We have a community that's willing to get involved and let us know what's going on," Grandview Police Chief Charles Iseman said.

Last year marked a major shift with a 12-percent drop in overall crime. There were double digit declines in auto theft, burglary, larceny and domestic assaults.  Burglaries went down a whopping 47 percent.

"They do stop by. They do check our doors at night just to make sure everything is secured. So it does give us peace of mind, too," said Stacey Stauch, manager of Crews Jewelry in Grandview.

Iseman said a voter-backed public safety sales tax has been a big boost. It's allowed for a fully staffed police department, including four new sworn officers.

The chief's also shifted schedules to provide more coverage during times when call volumes are high, and a special enforcement unit is helping keep tabs on trouble spots.

"We're able to use them in specific locations or sometimes even on specific people we know may be involved in criminal activity," Iseman said.

By having a stronger presence and building bonds with community and business leaders, Grandview's future looks bright.

"I think Grandview is a great little secret right now. So the thing is, we just need to get the word out. And I think people are starting to hear that and notice that and believe it," Worstell said.

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