By John Sharp
Concerned South Kansas City area residents, businesses and organizations are urged to attend a community meeting to develop specific strategies to reduce recent significant increases in violent crime committed by groups of youth and other unaffiliated youth from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 21, at United Believers Community Church, 5600 E. 112th Ter.
The event is sponsored by the Police Department Community Engagement Division and the South Patrol Division.
“I want everyone living or working in south Kansas City who wants change and is ready to work on change to attend,“ said Major Kari Thompson, Community Engagement Division commander. “This has to be a collective effort, no more pointing fingers and blaming others.”
“This won’t be solved overnight, but working together we can get results,” she added.
Thompson and Major David Jackson, the new commander of South Patrol, specifically named neighborhood and community leaders and activists, teens and young adults, business owners and organizations, members of the clergy and other representatives of faith-based groups, teachers and school administrators and area public officials as groups they would like well represented.
“We have to get people involved,” Jackson said.
“We’d like to partner with as many community groups as we can,” Thompson said, noting she would like community leaders to lead the violence reduction effort and the Police Department to take a supportive role.
She said more meetings in south Kansas City on reducing youth violence will follow up on the initial meeting to finalize specific plans for reducing youth violence and to analyze the results.
“Once a plan is developed and implemented and we can show it’s getting actual tangible results, we will present it to every patrol division,” she said.
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