Kansas City Police Department

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Other cities are looking to Kansas City, Mo., as an example of how to curb violent crime after the city saw fewer homicides in 2014 than it had in four decades.

In fact, City of St. Louis officials will travel here in coming weeks to look at the Kansas City No Violence Alliance, a policing initiative run out of the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office.

Cody Newill / KCUR

Seven people involved in a protest in downtown Kansas City, Mo., on Saturday were arrested as they attempted to block Interstate 70.

The protest was themed #BlackLivesMatter after the viral hashtag, which took off after the decisions not to indict the police officers involved in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

Laura Ziegler / K

Kansas City, like many cities across the world, saw a public outcry to what many felt was an injustice in the Ferguson, Mo., grand jury decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown.

As anticipated, the decision set off immediate violence in the St. Louis suburb. The ruling reverberated with demonstrations and protests from New York to San Diego, and as far away as Sydney, Australia.

Here in Kansas City, the response was quick and vocal, but mostly peaceful.

Michael Price / KCPT

The state of Kansas City's mental health care services is dire, according to a new documentary.

Journalist and documentary filmmaker Michael Price's Lost Minds: KC's Mental Health Crisis focuses on the growing number of fraught confrontations between severely mentally ill people and police on Kansas City's streets. The locally produced documentary airs at 8 p.m. Wednesday on KCPT. 

Fewer violent crimes were reported in Kansas City, Mo., in the first half of 2014, down 7 percent compared to the same time last year.

"For example, homicides, we've had 42 this year, which is way too many," says Kansas City Police Captain Tye Grant. "But year-to-date, that's in comparison to 67 last year."

Mayor Sly James tweeted a copy of the police department's monthly crime summary Tuesday, calling the drop "good news" for Kansas City.

Police officers often respond to situations that involve people suffering from mental health problems.

Since they are called first for help, there is a growing effort to train the officers in how to handle the situations.

On today's Central Standard, we discuss how police training is changing in order to accommodate mental health crisis response techniques.

Guests:

A  Jackson County grand jury has declined to file charges against a  Kansas City, Mo., police officer in the 2013 shooting death of a firefighter.

The criminal case is closed in the Dec. 1, 2013, death of Anthony Bruno.

Bruno and the policeman struggled during a brawl leading to the shooting on a downtown street. There had been a dispute over cab fare outside Bruno’s wedding reception party. The pair fought and struggled on the pavement as the officer tried to arrest Bruno.

Ground Broken On New Kansas City Crime Lab

Nov 19, 2013
Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Ground has been ceremonially broken for the already-in-progress East Patrol Police station/crime lab construction in Kansas City, Mo.

Chrome plated shovels were planted in dirt but it was obvious heavy equipment had been working for weeks. About 80 houses were torn down for the 17-acre, $74 million project.

Nearly every speaker talked about those who gave up property, some unwillingly. Though, there were no protestors visible at the gathering.

The commander of Kansas City’s No Violence Alliance says  university researchers have  identified what he called a “social network of violence” and it’s starting to collect criminals or convince some of need to change. The murder rate is still expected to rise this year.

As benchmark, Alliance head, Police Captain Joe Mchale  says Kansas City  has, by percentage, more homicides than the city that epitomizes, for many, deadly Midwestern violence, “let’s look at our numbers compared to Chicago.  Murders in Kansas City, per 100 thousand people per year, 22.9.  Chicago is 15.9.”

Security Questioned In Multi-Shooting Aftermath

Mar 11, 2013
Null Value / Flickr

The amount of security has come into question surrounding a multiple shooting at a private dance Saturday night in Kansas City.

Three Arrested After Teen Found Chained In Basement

Feb 11, 2013
bigstock.com

There are no charges filed, but Kansas City Police have arrested three people connected to discovery last week of a teenager handcuffed in a Northland basement.

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

The separate deaths of two women in Kansas City’s Northland, deaths originally thought accidental drug overdoses, are now thought to be homicides.

The Kansas City North prosecutor who will have to decide if there are criminal charges in the keeping of a teenage boy handcuffed in a basement, does not expect to see the case for several days.

Courtesy of LaBudde Special Collections, UMKC.

Three years ago, Kansas City police re-opened one of the most vexing cold cases in local history. It was the 1970 murder of politician and civil rights leader Leon Jordan. The case was re-opened after an investigation by Kansas City Star reporters Mike McGraw and Glenn Rice.  McGraw told us what one of the original detectives told him about the 40-year-old case.

“'I can’t remember a case with less info, more blind alleys, more possible motives, and more possible suspects than the Leon Jordan murder,'” said McGraw, quoting detective Lloyd DeGraffenreid. 

Bill Anderson / KCUR

Nicole Wright returned from college wanting to make a difference in her home town of Kansas City, Missouri.  Six years later, Officer Wright's beat is still the neighborhood where she was raised by her mother: 28th and Wabash, part of East Patrol.

kansas city missouri police department

Kansas City Police will continue to offer few specifics about the new No Violence Alliance, NoVA. Critics who want to know more about how it will operate and who are the most violent criminals it will target will have to wait.

Carol Clarinet

In the South part of Kansas City there have been more burglaries committed in daytime than in darker hours the first months of  this year.  Police are using those figures to argue for change in city ordinance.

December Event Termed New Link To Missing Baby

May 21, 2012
Dan Verbeck / KCUR

More than seven months after the puzzling disappearance of 10-month-old Lisa Irwin from her parents’ Kansas City home, her mother and father went on national television today purporting to have new evidence.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR
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Accolades for Police, Ambulance Tax Vote

Nov 3, 2010
photo courtesy kcmo p.d.

Kansas City, MO – Kansas City government snatched some relief from Tuesday's earnings tax repeal referendum. The Public Safety Sales Tax passed and was noted in Council Committees the day after.