Mayor Sly James focuses on crime, education, transportation in State of the City address

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Mayor Sly James says an alarming statistic plagues Kansas City, Mo.

In his State of the City address Sunday at All Souls Unitarian Church, the mayor said nearly half of the violent crimes occur in an area that makes up just 1 percent of the city.

Mayor James gave the startling information to a small crowd as part of his address.

He said the homicide rate has not declined. Mayor James said crime and enforcement tops his 2013 priority list.
     
He is working with the Kansas City Police Department, the Jackson County Prosecutor and federal officials to target specific people who are constantly engaged in crime.
       
Most of violence, he noted, is perpetrated by a small group of people in just 13 square miles of the city.

"In other words," he said, "we're targeting specific individuals who we believe are strategically engaged in committing violent and criminal acts in this city and getting them off the streets."

He said punishments will be enforced and will be harsh.

"Find the most significant people, and get them out of there. Force them out and incarcerate them; lock them up and put them away."

Mayor James said so-called "hot-spot policing" has been a success in other cities. In Boston, he said, youth homicides dropped by 63 percent.
      
Mayor James said education, making Kansas City a more "high-tech, entrepreneurial mecca" and public transportation, like an expansion of streetcars, are also among his priorities in 2013.
 

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