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SafeKC: KCPD Chief Rick Smith talks trip to NYPD

Posted at 6:52 PM, Nov 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-14 19:52:29-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In late October, Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith along with a group of people from the department and the city traveled to New York City to see how it’s police department cut their crime rate down.

Chief Smith sat down with 41 Action News to talk about what they learned. 

“If you look at some of the largest cities in America and what they've done to combat crime, New York has probably done the best job in any city in America,” said KCPD Chief Rick Smith.

Smith said there were many takeaways from his trip including the importance of resources like technology is in solving and preventing crimes. 

“Obviously technology plays a huge role in New York City. And we saw the package that every officer is issued a cell phone. On that smartphone, they have an application that's created just for their department,” said Smith.

Another takeaway is something Smith has grown already in the department and a priority, increasing community involvement officers to build trust in the different neighborhoods. NYPD has over 1,000 of them.

"You can see the investment that's made there, but I think what they are saying is the trust those neighborhood officers build with the community overall has helped reduce crime, has helped to realize that officers are there to work on their behalf and to work on the betterment of their communities. And so when you build that kind of trust, what they're saying is, they're worth their weight in gold," said Smith.

The crime rate in Kansas City is slightly down from last year with 149 murders in 2017, and 116 so far this year. Smith takes a varied approach to reducing crime in the city. 

"I don't know what the one answer is to tell you the truth. We look at all of these things and try to apply it multi-layer to try and reduce crime," said Smith. 

While the departments are different in terms of size, NYPD with over 36,000 officers, compared to KCPD's over 1,300, Smith believes they can work within their means to get a lot of this accomplished. 

"How do we make our resources have the most effect possible and that's what we're trying to take away from New York," said Smith. 

Since they recently returned from their trip, Smith said they will digest what they learned and the goal is to come up with a plan moving forward that will make the most difference. 

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