KCMO police chief: Clear blight, reduce crime

Posted at 6:24 PM, Jan 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-13 19:24:50-05

No city departments ever look to reduce funding, but Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte offered to allocate some funding to clear blight.

During the Board of Police Commissioners Meeting, Forte said reducing vacant homes could reduce crime.

“The area where the crimes are occurring, we know there's a housing stock, we know the buildings need to be demolished, we know the sidewalks, we know the lighting conditions around where some of these homicides occur,” Forte said.

Retired KCK Officer Jeff Brownlee commended the Chief on the plan.

Scrolling through pictures he took of graffiti-filled homes, Brownlee explained what blight and vandalism can do to a neighborhood, “There’s no place for these guys to hang out or for homeless people to maybe start a fire, it's just a snowball effect. One thing leads to another. The key is getting rid of those buildings or getting them rehabbed.”

Forte said the department needed 60 additional officers but would be willing to dedicate the manpower of five people to focus on demolishing abandoned homes.

There are more than 800 properties on the city’s “Dangerous Buildings List.”


Shannon Halligan can be reached at

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