KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A string of violent crime over the last several days has Kansas City, Missouri, Police Chief Rick Smith taking to the web to outline his department's efforts to combat the spike.
In a blog posted Wednesday, Smith cited year-over-year increases in shooting victims and homicide investigations, including seven shootings in a nine-hour period overnight on Wednesday.
“I get asked a lot why this is happening and what can be done do stop it,” Smith wrote. “I wish we had all of those answers.”
Smith said in many of the overnight shootings, officers were close enough to the violence they were able to hear the shots fired.
“Police presence is not deterring those set on committing violent acts,” Smith said.
Smith said he plans to detail additional crime prevention initiatives in the next week, but reminded Kansas Citians that police need their help to get suspects off the street.
But Smith said that’s compounded by the fact that a longer-term data review shows that two-thirds of shooting victims don’t cooperate with police.
Smith also said that although police continue to operate during the coronavirus pandemic, the shutdown effects have caused other parts of the criminal justice system to operate at reduced capacity.
After Smith's blog was posted on Wednesday afternoon, two more shootings — including a triple shooting in Midtown Kansas City — were reported.