KCPD Chief details latest crime fighting initiative as city investigates 70th homicide

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While detectives questioned a possible suspect in the city’s 70th homicide of 2019, Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith laid out plans to try to end a trend that’s landed KC on a list of the nation’s five most violent cities.

Officers were called to a shooting near 31st and VanBrunt around 1:30 p.m. Monday When officers arrived they located a man on the sidewalk with no signs of life. It was the fifth homicide investigation in four days in Kansas City, Missouri.

“We’ve got to stop the gunfire in this city,” Smith told a crowd of about 100 residents, cops and community activists at the South Kansas City Alliance meeting Monday night.

Chief Smith explained KCPD is launching two new programs, mirroring ones in Omaha and Tampa.

The Tampa Model shifts KC NOVA, the No Violence Alliance’s efforts from groups to individuals.

Now Kansas City will go after what are called “the trigger pullers,” the type of known criminals Tampa Police found are responsible for 60 percent of the crime, though they make up just six percent of people booked on charges.

“The people we are dealing with the most frequently. Let’s make sure we are not ignoring it, let’s follow up. Let’s let the prosecutors know about all of those people and what they are up to,” Smith said.

Police also noticed when Omaha raised its reward money for tips, the amount of crimes solved was dramatically impacted.

Smith said they’ve also been receiving more calls since they increased the CrimeStoppers reward to $25,000 last month.

While that meeting took place, War Cry Kansas City, was at one of two corners they’ve adopted in Kansas City Mo and Kansas where they will be an hour a day, every day, meeting and praying with people they meet. The anti-violence faith based initiative is vowing to start by ending crime in a 10 block radius around Independence and Prospect, before hopefully expanding outward.

“I think at the end of the day it’s just kind of an indication that if we don’t do anything it’s just going to get worse,” Marcus Blockmon ,with War Cry KC, said.

Smith says he’ll take any help he can get in trying to curb crime in what’s become the nation’s fifth most violent city per capita.

“The police department can’t arrest our way out of this, we will not make enough arrests in this city to change violent crime. There has to be everybody involved in this whether it’s schools, whether it’s elected officials, whether it’s the faith based group the people are talking about, it’s going to take more than just the police department,” Smith said.

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