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Crime commission seeks council support

There has been a 30 percent reduction in the homicide rate in Kansas City, Mo., over the last 12 months. The Kansas City Commission on Violent Crime attributes this decrease to collaborative anti-violence efforts it has initiated and cultivated.

In its final report, the commission has asked the City Council to approve and adopt three new practices and complementary recommendations, to continue with recent progress made in decreasing the number of homicides in the urban core. The three areas of focus are the following:

1. New, cutting-edge approaches

    Providing more resources for critical incident reviews by the Police Department

    Developing policies to affect neighborhood apathy, such as landlord and pawn shop legislation

    Establishing a work force revitalization demonstration project

    Creating a regional detention and treatment system.

2. Resurrecting formerly effective approaches

    Constructing truancy and out-of-school suspension alternatives

    Crafting quality after-school programs such as intramurals

    Consolidating comprehensive youth and family development planning.

3. Extensions of some existing approaches

    Targeting efforts of the Neighborhood Improvement Program in "hot spot" locations

    Supporting and evaluating promising activities such as P.O.S.S.E.

    Expanding the delivery of mediation/conflict resolution services

    Addressing predatory lending practices.

Following the city's 96th homicide of 2005, Councilman Alvin Brooks, 6th District at large, appointed the commission to study Kansas City's escalating homicide rate. Since that time, more than 1,100 working hours have been spent by the commission members to make Kansas City safer. The commission's recommendations also include increasing attention to neighborhoods affected by violent crime, more actively offering conflict resolution resources, spending more time reaching youth and educating them about alternatives to violent crime, and designating a City of Kansas City, Mo., employee to handle these initiatives.

The purpose of the commission is to determine efforts that can prevent and intervene in this cycle. The commission focuses on causes and possible solutions that can be recommended for implementation by the City and other stakeholders.

To read the Commission on Violent Crime's final report, visit

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