Crime watch group working with police to solve Old Northeast shooting in Kansas City

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Northeast neighbors are concerned about an increase in violent crime following an early morning homicide near Budd Park.

The park is less than a block away from Denver and Smart streets, where a man was shot and killed just after midnight Tuesday. A crime watch group leader in the Historic Northeast neighborhood said he doesn't want shootings to scare people away from the area.

"The neighborhood association has crime groups here that are very active," said Manny Abarca, president of the neighborhood association.

In recent years, citizens have lobbied city hall to install cameras in the park and throughout the Indian Mound neighborhood. The city also has added lighting and trimmed the trees to help law-abiding neighbors feel safer.

However, 16 homicides have already happened in Kansas City this year. The Indian Mound Neighborhood Association doesn't want violent crime to take over, preventing neighbors from enjoying community assets designed to make the area a better place to live.

"They (police) are asking us to engage those," Abarca said. "I did that this morning to make sure neighbors on this side of the community know what’s going on and know who to talk to if they have information."

Abarca is hopeful that cameras installed in the area may help police in their latest homicide investigation.

Police confirm that they did detain some people for questioning last night as result of information they gathered. It's not known yet if criminal charges will be filed against any of them.

Unlike other neighborhoods in the urban core, Abarca said this is an area where people do call the police. He said he wants criminals to know that the residents here will help detectives solve shootings.

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