Anti-crime alliance reports progress

If Kansas City can just prevent one in 10 homicides, it would save society more than $95 million a year, police reported Thursday.

Capt. Joe McHale, leader of the No Violence Alliance, reported that to the city council along with the anti-crime group’s latest efforts.

It has identified 2,000 people in a new cluster of criminals, suspects and associates and found the group has an aggravated assault rate – most commonly shootings – about 13 times higher than the national average.

It has focused on the 514 most dangerous people in that group, he said, and a 10 a.m. press conference is scheduled today to announce some indictments.

Researchers at the University of Missouri in Kansas City work with police intelligence in NoVa to identify clusters of criminals and their contacts.

NoVA includes the Jackson County prosecutor, the U.S. attorney in Kansas City, federal law enforcement, city police, social workers and state probation and parole.

They provide services like drug treatment, GED training, employment assistance and more for those who want to escape crime, while they send violent criminals to prison.

“We can develop new networks at the drop of a hat,” McHale said. “We can respond to violence almost instantaneously.”

The goal is to reduce the homicides and aggravated assaults that are often attempted murders.

Beside causing human suffering and grief and anguished mothers on both sides, the killings and assaults cost society a fortune, McHale said.

UMKC researchers tallied the numbers, tabulating things like medical costs, justice system costs, productivity loss, and pain and suffering and came up with about $9.7 million per murder.

From 2010 to 2012, Kansas City averaged 106 murders a year. Cutting that 10 percent would save $95.4 million a year. Cutting it 30 percent would save $286 million a year.

Mayor Sly James praised the NoVA teamwork but said one more team member was needed.

“In order to make this perfect we need the citizens,” he said. “The role of the citizen is simply to say we’re not going to tolerate this level of violence in the community.”

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