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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Dozens of people headed outside to enjoy the sunny weather while taking steps toward peace Saturday.

The community joined Police Chief Karl Oakman and other members from the police department to raise awareness and push for a reduction of violence. Mayor Tyrone Garner, D.A. Mark Dupree, and several state senators also joined the group for the event.

Some carried signs that said “Prayer is our weapon. Unity is our strength.” as they walked from North 5th Street and Washington to Mount Zion Church near North 5th Street and Parallel Parkway.

Once everyone arrived at the church organizers held a rally and a free community lunch.

Chief Oakman addressed the crowd and spoke about new violence reduction initiatives he plans to implement across the city over the next year.

“He really, really wants this to be a community project with the department. He wants to strengthen that. We have a good relationship with them, but we can always get a better relationship and I believe this is one of his first steps in doing that,” Ofc. Tom Tomasic, Kansas City, Kansas Police Dept, said.

Chief Oakman said everyone will learn more about the new programs and efforts in the department soon.

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