KC NOVA No Violence Alliance

Cody Newill / KCUR

In the wake of unrest in Baltimore, Maryland and Ferguson, Missouri, the Kansas City Police Department held a community peace rally at Linwood and Prospect Saturday morning.

Mayor Sly James told the crowd of several dozen police officers, community members and city council members that keeping the city peaceful will require a continued cooperative effort.

"The issues that arose in Ferguson are not unique to Ferguson," James said. "The issues can arise here just as easily, just as quickly, if we are not vigilant."

Alex Smith / KCUR

St. Louis police, city officials and civic leaders took some pointers from Kansas City on Monday for strategies to reduce homicides.

In meetings at the police department headquarters, Kansas City police passed along crime prevention strategies implemented as part of the Kansas City No Violence Alliance, or KC NoVA, strategy, which they credit with last year's drop in homicides.

In 2014, the Kansas City homicides totaled 79, a drop of 21 percent from the previous year. During the same period, St. Louis's homicide total grew to 159.

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.”

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Kansas City’s anti-crime NOVA program was shifted into a higher gear today as federal  prosecutors  took charge of 61 grand jury indictments.

Arm Of Kansas City Law May Wear A Federal Badge

Apr 3, 2013
Null Value / Flickr

Kansas City’s fledgling “No Violence Alliance” will be getting an assist from an arena generally more feared by criminals than the local “law.”

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Kansas City’s newest program to fight violent crime began today, aided by UMKC researchers, state and federal prosecutors, police and others.  The launch coincided with a chilling set of deaths.

A fresh double-homicide in south-side Kansas City had detectives going to work, one  hour before top crime fighters were gathering to describe the program, initially announced in May of 2012.

There had been 6 murders in the preceding 48 hours.

Into the mix comes the Kansas City No Violence Alliance or KC NoVA.