SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Enough is enough. That’s the message leaders from Missouri’s largest cities had on Oct. 18.
The mayors of Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield and Columbia met with Gov. Mike Parson on Oct. 18 to discuss ways to make communities safer.
Three of these cities — Kansas City, St. Louis and Springfield — are among the top 15 most violent cities in the nation.
For Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, decreasing crime is a means to an end to increase safety in Kansas City.
“There is nothing more important to my constituents, nothing more important to any of us in Missouri, than making sure children can be safe, making sure our law enforcement officers are safe, and making sure we change the narrative that have been too long, I know in my city, and unfortunately in many others, about violent crime,” Lucas said.
Ken McClure, the mayor of Springfield, told KOLR that domestic violence is a big part of their violent crime. He said the problem directly ties into gun violence and drug abuse.
“Keeping guns out of the hands of those who should not be,” McClure said. “We talked specifically about that, that would be applying to Springfield as well as these other communities.”
Another priority is keeping guns away from minors. Lucas put this into city law earlier this year with two new ordinances.
Other things the mayors identified as ways to help include mental health awareness, improvements to the justice system and better witness protection. They suggested including social workers as co-responders, speeding up criminal processing to avoid overcrowding and encouraging more cooperation with police by witnesses.