Kansas City’s worst criminals may want to watch their backs this summer as local police crackdown on those known to bring about the most violence. Mayor Sly James announced a new initiative called the KC No Violence Alliance (KC NoVA) this past week along with Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker and Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte.
The effort will be long term and collaborative, but will kick off in coming months as summer begins to heat up. The program will focus law enforcement efforts in the city’s “urban core,” according to the Kansas City Star.
The method behind the program is known as “focused deterrence,” and similar approaches have reportedly been successful in cities like Boston, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati, where there have been decreases in gun-crimes and homicides.
In Cincinnati, where the effort has paid off in a reduction in gun crimes and gang-related murders, the focused deterrent method hasn’t only focused on individuals, but entire gangs and smaller cliques.
According to University of Cincinnati associate professor Robin Engel, the program lowered gang-related homicides 41% and gun violence 22% in that city. Kansas City officials are hoping for the same measure of success.
But the KC NoVA program won’t just be about making arrests and removing criminals from the streets, it will also contain an aspect designed to help those at risk of criminal behavior. There will be options for job training, education, and health care for those labeled “at risk” who want to get out of the “criminal lifestyle.”
There has been no timeline set forth on when officials expect to begin seeing positive change, though the program will begin implementation soon.
A $74,000 grant from the Greater Kansas City Local Initiatives Support Corp., will be used to hire a project manager and also towards the University of Missouri-Kansas City, who will be collecting data on the program and helping to determine how the program should operate.
By focusing an entire program on the “urban” core of Kansas City, officials hope to remove some of the people responsible for most of the crime. They are casting a large net. But when you are a resident of these high crime neighborhoods, sometimes you too can get caught in the net regardless of your involvement in the criminal world.
If you are facing criminal charges at the hands of the Kansas City Police Department and you come from a high-crime neighborhood, you can feel like your guilt has been determined long before your day in court and even before your arrest. Fortunately, I may be able to help.
Whether you are accused of a gun crime or drug possession, contact me today to discuss the details of your case.