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KCMO leaders to implement strategy used in Omaha to reduce violent crime

Omaha 360 meeting
Posted at 10:52 PM, Jul 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-16 00:09:19-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The busy basketball courts at Oak Park near East 44th Street and Agnes Avenue are a way Pat Clarke tries to keep the violence out of his neighborhood.

"Especially when we witness kids 15, 16, 17 years old, walking around with guns on the inside of the shirts--that's how they carry them now," Pat Clarke, President of the Oak Park Neighborhood Association said.

Clarke knows the tragic stories written by gun violence.

"We had a girl murdered the other day; shot over 50 times. And I guarantee you the shooter didn't run out of bullets neither," Clarke said.

This week KCPD interim Police Chief Joseph Mabin touted a series of initiatives underway to reduce violence crime in a blog post. At the top, the 'KC 360 Pilot Program'.

It's based on a model out of Omaha, where several community agencies meet weekly to address key points including prevention, intervention and enforcement.

"It's going to take more than the people whose putting it out there to get this done," Clarke said.

Police say gun violence in Omaha dropped 74 percent from 2008 to 2018 because of the program.

Locally the Oak Park and Santa Fe neighborhoods will see the program first.

KSHB 41 News: Ms. Taylor, how did they identify your particular neighborhood as part of this pilot program?
Marquita Taylor, President of Santa Fe Area Council Neighborhood Association: Yep, I guess it's a benefit for us, but also a negative, they looked at the crime rate in the area and saw that Santa Fe is consistent with illegal activity with crime

The nonprofit KC Common Good is spearheading the pilot program. A representative told KSHB 41 News the program is in its early stages. The group would not say when they will roll the program out to help the two neighborhoods battered by gunfire.

"It's nothing new to hear AK47s. It's nothing new so that's scary. That tells me that we got to do something about it before everything becomes normal and we're trying, but we need all the help we can get," Taylor said.