KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two hundred twenty-five federal agents are on their way to help police try to get violent criminals off the streets.
“Operation LeGend,” named for 4-year-old murder victim LeGend Tallifero, is designed to be an unprecedented government response to the highest number of homicides Kansas City has ever seen, so far this year.
There has been concern by some in the urban core that a surge of federal agents in Kansas City would result in reduced freedoms and a martial law type of environment.
After meeting with clergy, activists and other neighborhood leaders earlier this week, the mayor joined U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison in reassuring the public that “Operation LeGend” simply will be an attempt to help police solve more violent crimes and get dangerous shooters behind bars.
The agents are not here to prevent anyone from protesting or take over patrolling our streets.
“It is not about troops,” Garrison said. “It’s not about tanks. These are professional criminal investigators and analysts who are coming to Kansas City to assist local law enforcement, not to replace them. They’ll be conducting investigations into homicides and other shootings based on the existing apparatus of the weekly shooting review at KCPD.”
There are already 400 federal agents who live and work in the metro area and routinely assist Kansas City police on violent crimes.
The additional agents are coming from the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Marshall’s Service.
Garrison declined to say how long the influx of agents will remain in Kansas City, but he did say they’re not here to make a certain number of arrests and then leave.
Lucas said every week a minor is shot in Kansas City. That’s why he welcomes this support, to help bring justice to more families of victims.