Thursday, September 26, 2019
TKC MUST READ!!! NEW MALCOLM GLADWELL BEST SELLER EXPLORES KANSAS CITY GUN EXPERIMENT LEGACY!!!
Tonight we consider a #1 NYT bestseller which contains a worthwhile and newsworthy passage that explores the history of Kansas City police tactics during a deadly high crime crisis.
If our readers talk to smart people about important things, they've likely already discussed this book . . .
Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know
HOWEVER, for those willing to read beyond the cover and the few chapters like most middle-class faux intellectuals there's a great examination of KCPD history.
A very smart reader sent us this snippet of a review that sums it up nicely:
"During the 1970s, there was an experiment conducted in Kansas City, Missouri, which found that increased police patrols had no effect on crime. During the 1990s, a similar experiment, again conducted in Kansas City, instead targeted extra police patrols in very specific high-crime areas - and by very specific I mean city blocks, not streets, blocks. That experiment was incredibly effective and demonstrated that stopping individuals for very minor traffic infractions led to an increase in arrests, gun seizures, drug seizures, and, most importantly, crime.
"Law enforcement agencies around the country took notice; sadly, they walked away with the wrong lesson."
Mainly, readers and Mr. Gladwell seem to suggest that the targeted approach can often be misdirected against nonviolent communities and has regularly resulted in tragedy.
Another bold TKC reader reminds us of the big picture and how the history of this town's policing and how anti-crime efforts have evolved:
"KC is the first to crack down specifically on neighborhoods and set up a school to prison pipeline along with computerized policing. Other cities followed our lead and copied tactics. Very much like Chief Smith saying weed dealers are killing people as a distraction while licence plate scanners are making people think their hood is full of snitches because locals have little understanding of the speed of automated surveillance."
Back to the book:
"Gladwell points to the success of the Kansas City Gun Experiment, a major first step toward the reduction in urban murder and drug-crime rates. The experiment itself was conducted by four police officers over 200 days and violent crime in this Kansas City police reporting area halved. The four officers also issued 1,090 traffic citations . . ."
And so . . .
Accordingly, all of this info should remind Kansas City residents that authorities and elected leaders have diligently searched in vain for a solution to the statistically significant and disproportionately higher local violent crime for decades and still continue to look for effective strategies given that the 2019 murder count is still up 13% over last year.
Developing . . .