An anti-violent crime program for Kansas City, styled after ones in Boston and Cincinnati, will target top offenders and try to make crime leadership less attractive to underlings.
Proponents call it a new kind of strategy for the city.
The effort is the K.C. No Violence Alliance, KC Nova, begun by a group of law enforcement agencies and the Jackson County Prosecutor.
“It’s a small number of people that cause the violent crime in our city," prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said. "And so what we’re going to do with that knowledge of who those people are, we’re going to strategically focus our efforts on them.”
The prosecutor, and Mayor Sly James, and Police Chief Daryl Forté say it may take years to work, as it has in cities such as Boston, where they cite a 63 percent cut in youth homicides.
The program begins with research by the UMKC Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology to target worst offenders. It’s led by Department Chair Ken Novak. Novak said he expects the chief criminals all realize they’re well known to authorities, but individual agencies don’t have the entire picture. Novak says the research should clarify for all.
Part of the task is to convince up-and-comers in crime that there’s an alternative life. A jobs creation program is attached to it. Portions of that task are in the hands of the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole.