KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- There have already been 16 homicides in Kansas City since the beginning of the year. On Thursday, state leaders announced a new initiative to stop the trend called "Safer Streets Initiative."
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced plans to expand the program from St. Louis to Kansas City.
The initiative plans to cut down on crime by focusing on repeat offenders. Research from the Department of Justice showed a majority of violent crimes came from 5 percent of the city's population.
After a violent start to 2019, Schmitt said he hopes the Safer Streets Initiative will provide new hope for families.
"Mothers are sitting at home waiting and worrying that their loved ones may never return. Grandfathers are having their cars violently stolen in the very same neighborhoods where they live. People should not worry about heading to Westport or spending your evening with family and friends in Power & Light," he said.
Kansas City saw a spike in crime in 2017 when the Missouri State Highway Patrol reported more than 160 violent crimes in Jackson County alone.
The Project Safe Neighborhoods program will also help prosecutors to more fully prosecute violent crimes and find justice for those families.