KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Deputy Director of the U.S. Marshal Service Roberto Robinson was in Kansas City on Tuesday to discuss local crime prevention.
“One of our core missions is fugitive apprehension,” Robinson told reporters after the meeting. “So that’s our bread and butter. However, you can’t arrest your way out of this problem.”
Robinson and Mayor Quinton Lucas were at Operation Breakthrough at 31st and Troost with a number of community leaders. They’re trying to stop violence in the city before it can even begin.
Community leaders also learned of two federal grants the Full Employment Council’s getting that total $2 million. They will fund a youth development program that provides kids with jobs who may be going down the wrong path.
“As evidence shows that when we employ our youth, violence actually goes down,” Councilwoman Ryana Parks-Shaw told FOX4 Tuesday. “So when you have jobs that have opportunity, we see a reduction in crime.”
Parks-Shaw also said the city could spend $30 million of its own money to try to prevent crime over the next 5 years. They’ll release more of that plan at a press conference Wednesday.
On Tuesday afternoon, though, Lucas heard from the community.
“I think what we are trying to commit to in our next budget conversation is, ‘What are we doing on the ground level in the community with kids who are 15 who are saying, ‘Yeah. It’s easy for me to get a gun… today,'” Lucas told reporters after the discussion. “‘What are we doing to make sure we try to prevent that whole process?”
Kansas City is coming off its three deadliest years on record when it comes to homicides. FOX4 recorded 169 homicides in 2022. The only year worse than that was 2020 with 179 homicides recorded that year. In 2021, FOX4 recorded 157 homicides.