Police chief calls for community help

Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte speaking about the Police Athletic League.Often police know the suspects in murders, but that is just not enough.

Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte in a recent blog once again asked for community help in preventing and solving homicides.

Police cleared 55 percent of 106 homicides last year and have much more work to do, he says.

They have made progress – up from 42 percent of homicides cleared in 2010 – but continue having problems getting witnesses to come forward, he says.

“While 45 percent of 2013’s homicides are technically not cleared, our detectives know who the suspects are in the majority of them,” he said. “But witnesses often won’t assist with prosecution.”

Improving relations between the police and the community is one of his top priorities, he says. “When the community understands that police can help bring real justice, the needless tit-for-tat violence that endangers innocent bystanders will decline.”

But there will always be some murders that police can’t stop – often when killer and victim know each other and get angry and solve problems with a gun.

“Until a cultural change brings about a greater respect for life and a better way of solving problems and managing anger, many of these killings will continue,…” he said.

Parents, educators, churches, businesses, the justice system and others must work together to instill values, he said.

“As in so many other things in police work, the community is the key component to solving and preventing homicides.”


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