Wednesday, January 10, 2018


Just now, Mayor Sly James and KCPD Chief Rick Smith offer their perspective and intention to reduce crime in Kansas City in the new year.

Take a look:

Mayor Sly James blog: "It takes a community"

Update: Double Posted To The Chief's blog, too

Money quote:

"We believe 2018 can be the year that our neighborhoods see true relief from violence, but it will take more than anything the police or the city government can provide. It will take you. We need each Kansas Citian to prioritize crime reduction in our community. There is no substitute for an engaged citizenry when it comes to fighting crime. "

Check the statement in its entirety and you decide . . . But here's the important question:


And so . . .


It takes a community

Co-authored by Mayor James and KCPD Chief Rick Smith

If you’re like both of us, you look at Kansas City’s crime statistics and wince. Maybe you get angry. Maybe you want someone or something to blame. We get it. We do, too.

But crime is complex. Criminal behavior usually isn’t driven by just one thing, and we won’t be able to bring down crime in our city with quick fixes. We believe 2018 can be the year that our neighborhoods see true relief from violence, but it will take more than anything the police or the city government can provide. It will take you. We need each Kansas Citian to prioritize crime reduction in our community. There is no substitute for an engaged citizenry when it comes to fighting crime.

The men and women of law enforcement rely on tips from members of our community to help solve crimes. If you see something, hear something or know something, do something. Both of us are powerless to help make our neighborhoods safer without your help. To that end, KCPD recently increased the TIPS hotline reward to $5,000.

While police and city government can’t fix the crime problem alone, we are doing a great deal to address it. The Kansas City No Violence Alliance (KC NoVA) has been working hard to stop the recent spate of homicides. In fact, the percentage of homicides resulting from group-related violence – KC NoVA’s focus – has dropped steadily since the group started in 2013. However, overall homicide numbers are still going up, and we’re trying a number of things to stop that.

KC NoVA is bringing all of our city’s key players to the table to address the very small percentage of people who are responsible for a lot of the violence in Kansas City. Every morning, representatives from a host of agencies meet in person and by conference call to talk about what crime happened in the last 24 hours and any intelligence that was developed. The meeting is led by KCPD’s Gang Intelligence Unit and includes a variety of internal units at the KCPD as well as our local, state and federal partners. These heavy hitters work together every day to identify the most dangerous people in our community and how we can best arrest and prosecute them.

They also work to rehabilitate those who want to leave a life of crime. NoVA client advocates presently work with more than 100 people who want to avoid criminal behavior and be productive members of society. Advocates provide everything from conflict resolution skills to substance abuse treatment to job training. NoVA partners also have made nearly 100 visits to individuals who were incarcerated as the result of NoVA enforcement and worked with them to prepare for a law-abiding life on the outside. It’s still early, but their rate of recidivism appears to be significantly lower than average.

The Ruskin area in south Kansas City had recently experienced an elevated level of violent crime and quality of life issues. NoVA partners knocked on 697 homes in the Ruskin Heights neighborhood this past year to inform hundreds of families that police presence would be increasing, violence would not be tolerated and resources were available to help families get their loved ones back on the straight and narrow. The Violent Crimes Enforcement Division along with our NoVA partners is working with community members to identify specific neighborhood problems and concerns. We have already observed a reduction in the criminal activity occurring. Each year, we examined the date range of August through December. We found that crime categories, including aggravated assault, domestic violence aggravated assault, armed robbery, and strong-arm robbery, collectively increased from 2014 through 2016. Crime rose 56 percent between 2014 and 2015 and another 11 percent between 2015 and 2016. However, data show a 10 percent decrease for the same date range in 2017 when compared to 2016. Police will continue to work with City Codes Enforcement Officers to address blighted homes. The goal is to improve the neighborhood, reduce criminal activity and restore resident satisfaction. We intend to replicate this geographical targeted policing into other areas of the city.

Another program of KC NoVA is Teens in Transition. Funded by the offices of the Mayor and Jackson County Prosecutor, this program has brought 40 teens at risk for violence together each of the past three summers. They learn conflict resolution skills, undergo job training and art therapy. It’s led by artist Michael Toombs through Arts Tech. The whole time, KCPD’s school resource officers work alongside the teens to build relationships and trust. The kids who graduate from the program have significantly fewer negative contacts with police than they did before they started.

You’ll notice many of these crime-fighting efforts are less about going out and arresting people and more about giving them the resources they need to prevent them from turning to crime. One way KCPD is doing that is through a social worker embedded at Central Patrol Division. Here’s one great example: For years, officers have tried to enforce away issues with teens congregating on the Country Club Plaza in the summer and violating laws. This past summer, the social worker, Gina English, went to the Plaza and surveyed the kids about why they were there. After some citations for curfew violation the initial weekend the summer curfew went into effect, the problems on the Plaza decreased that summer. Gina identified the issues that drove idle youth to congregating and breaking laws, and those underlying issues were addressed by her social work and the responsible citizenship classes Gina taught to the children and parents who’d been cited for curfew violations. It was more effective than anything police had done to address the problem. To read more about what social work is accomplishing in Central Patrol Division, check out Chief Smith’s blog from last week. Like the client advocates at KC NoVA, social work is proving to be an innovative solution to public safety problems.

We’re about to see even more of this happen in Kansas City. The Police Department has just secured funding to embed a social worker at all six patrol division stations. More information on that will be forthcoming.

The way the police department shares and acts on crime information also has changed in a way that increases accountability. A sergeant skilled at data and intelligence analysis provides both the patrol divisions and Chief Smith with detailed weekly crime data and maps, pointing out patterns, recent parolees and concerning issues that need follow-up. Every week, officers and commanders assigned to each of the city’s six patrol divisions meet to discuss crime issues and neighborhood concerns in their area. Then every Wednesday, the commanders report how they’re working within their divisions to address those issues. They also discuss how they can partner with other internal divisions like Violent Crimes, Violent Crimes Enforcement, Special Operations, Traffic and Homeland Security and bring to bear the resources of those specialized units to stop the crime.

We understand the need for our law enforcement community to look like, and to understand, the people who live in our neighborhoods. We’re both committed to increasing the diversity of our police force. There is a KCPD recruitment fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, Jan. 13, at the Hillcrest Community Center, 10401 Hillcrest Rd. Department recruiters will be on site taking information from people interested in serving with KCPD and answering questions about employment. We’d love for community members from a wide variety of backgrounds to come apply.

Striving for a diverse workforce is nothing new for KCPD, and it’s something we are always trying to enhance. In 2017, KCPD was out recruiting everywhere from urban core high schools and churches to the Bosnian Community Picnic to LGBT festivals to universities and military bases. Among a host of other diversity recruitment initiatives, KCPD has been working with Kansas City Public Schools to build a program for interested students to learn about law enforcement with the goal of having them eventually join the department. In the coming months, KCPD will be operating a career center at the Manual Career and Technical Center in downtown. The purpose is to develop and mentor young people so those students looking for jobs after they graduate from high school can pass the background examination and go into civilian positions on the KCPD (such as desk clerks, building maintenance and other spots) until they reach the age of 21 and can become police officers. KCPD also is implementing a summer youth police academy for 12- to 15-year-olds in partnership with the Parks Department. The goal is for urban core youth to have a continuum of exposure to and mentoring by police from middle school to graduation. Those young people grew up in and understand the neighborhoods that are most in need of police presence, and we need them in the department.

That’s just some of what we’re doing in terms of internal changes in working with our community and law enforcement partners to address crime in 2018. We have the bold goal of getting Kansas City off the 10 Most Dangerous Cities list and look forward to what contributions our residents can make in helping us achieve that.

We believe all Kansas Citians deserve to live in a safe and healthy environment.It takes a community to make it possible. When we work together as a community, we have the capacity to solve our city’s most complex issues. Let’s come together now.

You decide . . .


Anonymous said...

The collaboration between a new police chief and the mayor is new.

Sly wasn't very enthusiastic about Chief Smith getting hired but this shows that he's willing to work with him.

That is important.

Anonymous said...


KC NOVA is going to fix the problem.

Did't we hear the same thing in 2016 and 2017, too? 300 murders later that hasn't really happened.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if lowering the requirements to hire new police is the solution. There are a lot of great police officers in KC already. Maybe putting more out on the neighborhoods on patrol is the real solution. Seems like most police officers don't want more unqualified officers.

Angela K. said...

At least Sly is trying something new. I don't see any of our mayoral candidates or new council candidates offering better suggestions. Sly is continuing to innovate and that's something we don't see enough of from elected leaders in KC.

Anonymous said...

support the mayor

support the chief

don't be a Trump loving creep!

Anonymous said...

Angela, I hope Mayor Bullhorn is paying you well. There's no other reason to believe anything that comes out of the mouth of this ambulance chasing clown.

Anonymous said...

"How's it going to work?" People need to stop killing each other. That's how it's going to work. Until people take responsibility for their own actions and value human life, it will never work. Hard truth: You cannot prevent someone from killing someone. Note for the simpletons on this blog: The Police, Mayor, and everyone else CANNOT stop someone from killing another person! It is not the fault of the police that people kill each other. Another note for the simpletons: People kill each other EVERYWHERE!!!!

Anonymous said...

Why did this not happen five years ago with complete support of the Chamber, too distracted by pork

Problem solved said...

You want to prevent more murders?

Catch killers.

Lock up killers.

Execute killers.

It's just as easy as that!

Anonymous said...

If they're not going to do anything new, then I'm guessing the murder count will get up to at least 155 this year.

Anonymous said...

So now ol' Mayor Bullhorn wants to act like he's showing leadership. Fascinating. Where were you last year as the murder rate took off? I'll tell you. Getting fatter and drunker. ;) As a Mayor, Sly makes a great comedian! ;)

Anonymous said...

How about we try a new approach and racially profile young black males since they are the ones committing the majority of violent crimes.

Anonymous said...

Hey dummy AKA 12:59PM: - If I kill someone, am caught, locked up, then executed, how did you prevent that person's murder? You didn't! YOU CANNOT PREVENT A MURDER MORON!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

sLIE doesn’t have to like anybody, and he doesn’t, but he still has to work with them regardless, he’s paid too wether he likes it or not. This is bigger than you sLIE, do your effing job

Anonymous said...

1:24 shut up gay slie

Anonymous said...

1:03 speaks the truth!

Anonymous said...

How about throwing a pizza party!!!

Bryan M. Stalder said...

Councilman Lucas wrote an editorial in The Star over the weekend pointing out that City Hall has no plan for combating violent crime and I can testify to that. AIt's laughable that anyone would laud our mayor on this issue because he's been mayor for seven years and done virtually nothing about it. Now his solution is "The community needs to rally against violence?"

I've never been to a community plagued by violence that hasn't rallied against it. Candlelight vigils and block watch organizing are mostly reactionary tactics for responding to violent crime *after the fact*

Sly James has done a lot to build things downtown but it has been at the expense of our communities, and the level of increased violence is a reflection of that. I look forward to working with Major Rick Smith but it'd be nice if the mayor were willing to shift his focus onto comprehensive solutions and partnerships on this very serious problem rather than blaming guns, claiming his hands are tied, and deferring to KCPD and communities.

Anonymous said...

they really just want to create the illusion that they care and are willing to do something about it. I hope we hit 200 this year.

Anonymous said...

Jean Petersucker Baker will now be even worse at her job as prosecutor since it appears she is more interested in fighting with Frank White than prosecuting criminals.

Anonymous said...

We have a mayor who doesn’t care, an incompetent police department, and Jean Petersucker Baker, the weakest prosecutor ever. You seriously think the murder will decrease?

Anonymous said...

More smoke up our butts. I hope they don't try that with the mirrors.

Anonymous said...

Isn’t it mostly just hood rats killing other hood rats? Why would we want that to decrease? If our police are too chickenshit and our prosecutor is worthless, just let the hood rats kill each other. The more dead hood rats we have, the safer our city will become.

Anonymous said...

Thanks guys...I was able to get a diaper load out on this thread. I love shitting and talking about murders. Don't you guys? Hey, I know, let's all talk about where we are afraid to go next! How about it?

Anonymous said...

If Sly is involved, it's doomed already

Anonymous said...

There isn't shit going to be done about violent crime in Kansas City. All you can do is keep it from affecting you, individually. The only sane thing to do is to get your ass out of there and don't stop to you get at least to Blue Springs. Kansas City has become what all black democrat-run cities eventually become- Detroit, Mogadishu, or Planet of the Apes.

Anonymous said...

sLIE hates white people, especially white cops, that’s not one bit racist is it sLIE?

Anonymous said...

2:39 shut up slie

Anonymous said...

He frustrates me immensely on this issue. There is absolutely no community in KC that welcomes murder or violent crime. The fucking answer is not to find enough people who care. Plenty of people fucking care. Newsflash, almost 500K people in this city do not murder people.

I feel horrible for the family's who are trapped in these war zones. The mayor's plan is to just hope for the best for them. That's why he should have never claimed credit for the 72 murder year. It wasn't him or any of his work. It was just blind luck.

But hey we have a streetcar (more people have been murdered during Sly James' term than voted on that stupid thing).

Anonymous said...

KCPD the Bullshit Police Department.

Anonymous said...

Kcpd sucks.

Anonymous said...

One more year of Lyin' Sly then the real blow back begins.

Anonymous said...

12:36 is so brilliant....NOT. The economy is on fire and 12:36 wants suppression and division. Yep hate Trump for putting thousands back to work among other things.

Support Sly and his turning an entire city on each other and now says it takes a community??? A little contradictory on Sly James part.

Don't support this creep of a mayor he has turned Kansas City into a hell hole and is a complete racist, standing against not only white people but also the police.
Not to mention he has lied to the people of this city about where the tax dollars are going. Is Sly a thief too???? I think so.

Problem REALLY solved said...

You want to prevent more murders?

Catch negroes.

Lock up negroes.

Execute negroes.

It's just as easy as that!