KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Operation LeGend is in full force, with a new group of federal agents working to make arrests and stop violent crime in Kansas City.
However, another group is taking a much different approach in hopes of also improving the metro.
Murder Free, a group of metro community leaders and pastors, has already held its second event – a networking event on July 23. The group’s message? It’s time to get organized – and get moving.
“We’re spending a lot of time talking about enforcement and the feds, police and all of that. The community has to be part of solving violent crime,” Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said.
The group has identified three neighborhoods that they say are hotspots for crime.
“This should be a signal that the tide has to turn here in Kansas City,” community activist Derron Black said.
Individuals from the group visited each of those neighborhoods to connect with people who live there. They say connecting with the community is the first step.
“One man can’t do it alone,” Marvin Kirkwood, pastor of Contagious Life Church, said. “Building these types of relationships will allow us to reach into other areas.
Everyone involved recognizes it’s going to take a community to change the community. The idea is to meet people where they are and then work to help each person.
“When men and women come together to start mentoring, you give them a since of hope, and Kansas City can be that heartbeat that the rest of the country can follow,” activist Ossco Bolton said.
Members with Murder Free said it will be easy to know when the idea starts working. It’s when kids who normally don’t participate in programs like mayor’s night and don’t do well in school start connecting and changing their lives.
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