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Crime prevention group sees opportunity in KCPD funding reform

Posted at 9:29 AM, Jun 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-02 10:29:26-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While the fight for control over a portion of funding for the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department is in court, a crime prevention group sees an opportunity to implement crime reduction strategies through the ordinances passed by city council.

Last month, city council passed a pair of ordinances reallocating a portion of KCPD's budget to a community fund which city leaders control.

Critics of the plan said the conversation about funding should have happened during the initial budget hearings, not now.

Damon Daniel said he's not opposed to seeing a different strategy when it comes to spending city money on fighting crime.

"I think it's time to look at how they're being better stewards of taxpayer dollars," Daniel said.

Daniel is president of AdHoc Group Against Crime, an organization works to prevent violent crime in the city.

As of June 1, Kansas City has seen 62 homicides, according to KCPD.

"You have individuals in our community that for some reason act like living is out of style," Daniel said.

Daniel explained it's important to reach at-risk people in the city and help change their behavior. He believes a solution can be found in a report called Public Safety Partnership.

In an effort to combat violent crime across the country, the National Public Safety Partnership was established in June 2017 following an executive order from President Donald Trump. The Department of Justice oversaw the plan.

Law enforcement agencies on the federal, state and local levels along with the mayor's office and community groups contributed to solutions on reducing crime.

The report identifies three goals in reducing crime.

  • Prevention. Using a neighborhood approach to stop gun violence.
  • Intervention. Identifying high risk people and their conditions.
  • Enforcement. Prosecuting violent offenders.

Daniel said the crime prevention plan was not funded, but he sees an opportunity to make the recommendations a reality with funding from the city's reallocation of police funds.

"Let's look at those goals. Let's look at those strategies to see how we can utilize those funds to address those things, to accomplish those goals," Daniel said.

Daniel said he believes local leaders can unite behind the idea of using the reallocated money for recommendations in the Public Safety Partnership since input in the plan came from city and state officials.