South KC Perspective
By John Sharp
Although not as deadly as 2020 which set a new annual record for homicides in KCMO with 179, there were 157 homicides recorded by the Kansas City Police Department in 2021 which was the second highest number on record, barely exceeding the 153 homicides recorded in 1993 that was previously the second highest number.
There were 151 total homicides in both 2017 and 2019.
In the South Patrol area there were 22 homicides in both 2020 and 2021. The number of homicides in Metro Patrol, North Patrol and the Shoal Creek patrol area only went up or down by one between 2020 and 2021.
The number of homicides in the Central Patrol area went up significantly from 2020 to 2021, increasing from 27 to 35, but the biggest change took place in East Patrol where homicides decreased from 78 in 2020 to 48 in 2021. That was still the highest number of any patrol division, exceeding the 43 homicides in 2021 in the Metro Patrol area which was the second highest number.
Firearms (primarily handguns) were the weapon used in nearly all of the homicides, followed by knives that were the weapon used in only 10 of the homicides. While the motive for most of the 2021 homicides remains unknown to authorities, arguments were listed by police as the main contributing factor in 34 of the homicides, followed by domestic violence in 13 of the homicides.
African-American males were the victims in 67 percent of the homicides, followed by Caucasian males in 13 percent, African-American females in 11 percent, Hispanic males in 4 percent and Caucasian females in 3 percent.
Even with this year’s decrease in homicides, KCMO’s homicide rate per capita remains one of the highest in the country per capita among big cities. Hopefully, greatly strengthening violence prevention programs can significantly reduce our horrendous number of homicides.
Better publicizing the TIPS Hotline reward of up to $25,000 for anonymous tips that lead to filing charges or an arrest in connection with KCMO homicides and the new state pretrial witness protection program that can pay to relocate witnesses if necessary should encourage more witnesses to come forward so the small number of the most persistent violent offenders who commit so many of our most violent crimes can be charged, convicted and incarcerated before they can harm more victims.