KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After a year-and-a-half of study a new set of recommendations on how to reduce violent crime in Kansas City is in the hands of the Mayor and City Council. It comes on the same day the police chief notes there have been eight fewer murders in Kansas City than this time last year, but city leaders say that doesn’t mean the city can stop looking for solutions, like those offered today.
Mayor James replies to the question as to whether or not a new crime fighting initiative called the No Violence Alliance is to thank for a slight decrease in homicides so far this year.
“I don’t want to sound pessimistic, I’m glad that it’s down, I don’t care why it’s down, but to say it’s down because of- is not a good idea necessarily,” said Mayor James.
On Monday, a group of volunteers who’ve worked on ways to curb violent crime laid out their recommendations for cutting crime. Those include a permanent Commission on Violent Crime, a permanent coordinator for the Violent Crime Commission, stronger neighborhoods, a youth master plan, better truancy and discipline plan for schools, and expansion of alternative schools and diploma options.
Lynda Callon from the Westside Community Action Network Center says at least one emphasis is missing- families.
“Where are the families? You can drive through this neighborhood and I defy you to find a parent playing with their kid,” Callon said.
Callon believes the city can’t fix families, but city leaders can promote and provide funds for services that can help families.
“Most criminals are not coming from healthy families,” Callon explained.
The Violent Crime Commission, however, does cover many different aspects of the community from schools to neighborhoods to law enforcement, concluding it’s not always just one thing that makes a difference when it comes to crime.
The Violent Crime Commission pointed out that since the year 2000, the city’s homicide numbers have dropped below one hundred only four times.
In 2012, their research shows 36 percent of homicide victims were between 17 and 24 years old.