Sad return to “normal” last year for KC homicide numbers, police chief says, but could have been even worse

forteA big increase in Kansas City homicides last year was bad but would likely have been much worse without the Kansas City No Violence Alliance, the police chief said yesterday in his blog.

In 2014, NoVA is credited with reducing homicides to 81, a 42-year low. But last year’s total is now at 110, a return to “normal,” said chief Darryl Forte.

But he added, “The homicide numbers to not tell the full story.”

They went up nationwide last year and did not increase as much here as in many other cities, he said, partly because of NoVA.

The group is a partnership of police, state and federal prosecutors, city government, social services and UMKC experts that took shape in 2013.

It uses police intelligence to identify criminal networks, contact people and target them for social services or for mass arrests if members of the groups are involved in violence.

“I am confident that KC NoVA’s work – as well as that of every other member of this police department – is making a difference.” Forte said.

A recent FBI crime report for the first half of 2015 found murders up nationwide by 6.2 percent. Kansas City had 36 homicides in that time, St. Louis, 92, Baltimore, 144 and Milwaukee, 75.

Forte said police are doing all they can, but “I must remind everyone that there is only so much police can do.”

They need help from everyone in the community for everything from cleaning up blight to mentoring parents to reducing access to guns for those who should not have them, he said.


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