KANSAS CITY, Mo. - At approximately the six-month mark since the beginning of 2014, the homicide count in Kansas City is less than that of years past.
According to the city's website, there have been 34 homicides this year compared to 52 over the same time frame last year. That's a 35 percent decrease so far.
KCMO Police Chief Darryl Forte recognized that one murder is too many but said in a statement sent to 41 Action News via Twitter: "Law enforcement as well as many others have contributed to making our metro area safer. Too many contributors to list. I'm thankful to all!"
One of the other groups many believe contributed to the decline is the KC No Violence Alliance - known as KC NoVA. It's a new effort by key law enforcement and city leaders to reduce violence on Kansas City's urban core.
KCMO Mayor Sly James gave Forte and the NoVA initiative a pat on the back for the lower numbers in a statement sent to 41 Action News.
We’ve seen an overall decrease in violence due to a combination of things like KC NOVA, Chief Forte’s emphasis on the impact of community relations on policing strategies, and a declaration that we’ve all had enough of the senseless violence that has plagued our city for too long. As long we continue to work together, and to build on the things we’re doing now, we’ll hopefully continue to see a decrease in violence and homicide numbers.
Compared to St. Louis, the data looks even better. In that city, the homicide rate has increased by 24 percent going from 50 homicides at this same time last year to 62 as of the writing of this article.
Kansas City, Kansas, remained approximately the same with 19 homicides reported since January 2014 and 18 at this time last year.