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'Something has to change': KCPD chief draws link between policy, public safety

Chief Rick Smith calls for change in Jeff City
Posted: 11:18 PM, Aug 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-09 00:29:32-04
Chief Rick Smith

KANSAS CITY, MO. — As the homicide count continues to climb, the police chief in Kansas City, Missouri, is connecting the dots between public policy and public safety in the state of Missouri.

In a blog entry posted Thursday afternoon, KCPD Chief Rick Smith pointed to the fact that individuals must attend a safety education course and obtain a license to hunt an animal in Missouri.

However, anyone 19 years old or older can carry a concealed weapon without a permit.

"I do think there's an opportunity that people that carry something as dangerous as a firearm have some training on it," Smith told 41 Action News. "That's all I'm asking."

Smith's post laid out the steps KCPD is taking to reduce violent crime.

They've partnered with the ATF on the Crime Gun Intelligence Center, refocused the Kansas City No Violence Alliance and raised the reward money for information in homicide cases.

Officers also mentor young people through the Police Athletic League, Teens in Transition and the school resource officer program and there are social workers at every patrol division station.

Smith said his department is doing everything in its power to end the violence, but "those in the halls of the legislature can affect public safety — for good or bad — at a much broader level."

"Something has to change," Smith wrote on his blog. We hope the frustration our community is feeling about violent crime will turn into the action that is needed to change public policy to protect the people of Kansas City."