KANSAS CITY, Mo. - City leaders want to make sure an anti-violence group is earning your tax dollars.
Kansas City gives $650,000 every year to Aim4Peace to reduce crime.
Covering four square miles on the East Side, Aim4Peace says they create change by interacting with their neighbors.
“One of the biggest problems that our youth have today is not knowing how to handle their conflicts,” Larry Collins of the Linwood YMCA said.
“If we don't begin to change our behavior and receptivity to violence then we're not going to see a change in the numbers,” Director of Aim4Peace Tracie Cole said.
Some city council members challenged the group to prove their effectiveness and how they're spending the taxpayer money.
“Our staff is out on the street. That is one of the things they have as a hallmark,” Cole said.
The group responds to shootings scenes and hospitals, sending its 14 employees with a message of conflict mediation.
On Wednesday, Aim4Peace pointed to decreases in homicides in their four east sectors as proof that their tactics work.
Brandon Smith lives in one of those neighborhoods and hadn't heard of the group before.
“I haven't noticed any people going around talking about making a change in the neighborhood or the streets,” Smith said.
But Cole points to their events as a way they’re making a difference, including their last event, a “Peace Ride” with Redline Riders.
Just a couple of weeks before, nine people were shot at an event for the motorcycle group.
“Although Redline had an incident, I think that it showed very strongly that they were still supportive of the event and we as an organization are about peace,” Cole said.
We requested numbers on how many calls they take a week and how many disputes they resolve but we’re still waiting on those results.
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