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A day on the job with KCMO's Violent Crimes Program Coordinator

Posted at 4:53 PM, Jun 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-29 18:51:33-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kamisha Stanton is working a job that has never existed in Kansas City before. 

"Pretty much anything that comes up that involves anti-violence in KC, it comes to me," Stanton said at her City Hall office, one she's rarely in at that. 

She is the Violent Crimes Program Coordinator. It's a hefty title, but one she's eager to embrace. 

She's been working the position since September 2017. 

Is the pressure all on one person to solve crime in Kansas City? 

"It's not all on me, thank goodness," Stanton laughed. 

The key word here is 'collaboration,' she told 41 Action News. Monday through Friday, her life consists of meetings. 

We caught up with her at the health department building for her sixth meeting of the week, Violence Free KC. 

She collaborates with organizations in Kansas City and helps connect them together. 

The meeting ended at 11 a.m., and she was quickly out the door to her next at Hire KC Youth that started at 11:15 a.m. 

"I get to sit down for a little bit, but I mean, we'll see if I get lunch," Stanton said as she pushed the elevator button. 

Stanton's job is the result of the latest Citizens Task Force on Violence formed in 2016, just one of the many the city has ordered to come up with recommendations to address violence. 

In 2017, the Task Force found a lot of resources are available to the most vulnerable people in the city, but there's no organization. 

Stanton is tasked with unifying them all. She works with 50 organizations that either provide resources or come up with anti-violence solutions. That number doesn't include the police department, school district, city, government, and county entities she works with as well. 

"I'm helping organizations learn ways to collect data and measure. You can talk to people about what they're doing and how they're going to do it, but if you ask them to show you the numbers and the outcomes, they don't have it," Stanton said. 

She said if we know on paper what's working and what isn't, maybe that will be the beginning of change.

"I would hope after my two-year contract we could see some kind of reduction or at least some kind of collaboration," Stanton said. 

Kansas City, Missouri saw 149 homicides last year. Stanton knows her role is crucial. 

"This is where my children live. So it's a huge deal. It's not just me coming from outside in and talking about what's taking place. This is affecting my life and my family's life every single day," said Stanton. 

She lived in Raytown for the last six years, but recently she relocated with her husband and young child to Key Coalition, near KCPD East Patrol. She had a baby a few months ago. 

"I'm right in the thick of it," she said. 

Stanton checks in with Mayor Sly James's office every week and has a meeting with James monthly. 

"Every week I literally break down each recommendation and where we are today to ensure we're actually meeting those goals," she said. "I have the mayor I have to report to and he asks me, 'Why hasn't this happened?' Or, 'Where are we at with this?' So when you have that kind of accountability..."

Stanton has a Master's Degree in social work from UMKC and has previously worked at several organizations that help youth and families connect to services. 

"I just hope that we can have a way to ensure that resources that exist are being utilized by people who need them, that's a really big goal of mine," Stanton said.