KCPD unveils new plan to tackle rising crime rate

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The numbers are staggering and getting worse.

So far this year, there have been 66 homicides in Kansas City, Missouri. There were 47 at the same time last year on the way to 130, the highest total in a decade. The current number is a 40 percent spike from the same time last year.

KCPD leaders aren't sure why it's happening.

"I think it's a challenge that law enforcement nationwide is trying to figure out", said Maj. Scott Glaeser, KCPD's Acting Commander of the Patrol Bureau.

Maj. Scott Glaeser is part of a new initiative from the KCPD to tackle the rising crime rate.

To address this troubling trend, KCPD's Law Enforcement Resource Center has been not only looking at the numbers but also where the violent crimes are occurring.

The plan is to shift resources from Traffic Enforcement, the Special Operations Division and the Violent Crime Enforcement Division to put officers on the street patrolling in hot spot areas for prevention.

"We're looking, targeting people, not just people, specific individuals who are known to be bad, known to commit crimes or have committed crimes," said Maj. Greg Volker of the KCPD Law Enforcement Resource Center.

But Volker also says part of the increased violence recently can be attributed to people with limited criminal backgrounds who decide to settle disputes with guns.

Maj. Greg Volker says part of the blame for Kansas City's rising crime rate comes from individuals who already have criminal backgrounds and often resort to violence to settle disputes.

This new initiative comes as the number of KCPD officers on the street has been dwindling. As 41 Action News first reported in March, last year, the department finished with 1313 officers, the lowest total in a decade.

Currently, KCPD has 1299 officers.

41 Action News also obtained records showing the number of man hours worked at KCPD has been trending down since 2014, while the average response times, even for the most violent crimes, have gotten longer.

Results of a long anticipated KCPD staffing study, originally expected in late May, are still pending.

"We're waiting for that report and examine not only how we deploy our current resources, but what resources we should have in the future", said Major Glaeser.

As for the current new initiative, KCPD plans to change manpower deployment as frequently as every two to three days.

The idea is for KCPD leaders to figure out where they expect the violence might be occurring next.

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