KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Violent crime across the metro is an issue leaders and the police department have fought for decades.

The Kansas City Police Department has a new plan and hopes to work with local organizations to change what’s happening in the metro and make it safer for everyone.

Chiefs Stacey Graves formally announced the new initiative Wednesday morning, but it is already being implemented.

The goal is to reduce crime across the city by engaging with people who live in Kansas City. The department says it plans to talk to anyone who will talk with officers. The officers will listen to whatever people have to say and educate the public about different ways to handle differences.

Officers, prosecutors, and leaders from different organizations plan to be in neighborhoods meeting people.

“This is our gesture. All of us standing up here to say we are committed to reducing violent crime in Kansas City. This is our request for all of us to work together, everyone in the community. If one life is lost by violent crime in Kansas City, everyone should be concerned. And everyone should ask themselves ‘how are they helping be a part of stopping violent crime in Kansas City,” Graves said.

Graves believes crime happens most often in areas where people believe no one cares.

The groups involved say arrests and prosecutions are not the answer. Instead, the groups will work with the public to offer help paying rent, finding jobs, and other basic needs.

According to data kept by the Kansas City Police Department, there have been 59 homicides in the city this year. That does not include hundreds of other people who have been injured or traumatized by crime.

The department is partnering with groups like Partners for Peace, Mothers in Charge and KC Common Good for the initiative. Additional groups will likely be added in the future.