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Aim4Peace Aims To Prevent KC Homicides


Local police tend to expect a rise in violence over the summer, and this year has been no different. There's been about a 22 percent rise in homicides compared to previous years.

Community leaders each have their own approach to the problem: Mayor Mark Funkhouser and City Councilwoman Cathy Jolly are promoting a nationwide program to reduce the availability of guns in the central city.

County prosecutor Jim Kanatzar thinks the city needs better parole re-entry, substance abuse and anger management programs.

And area ministers are leading a Call to Oneness program that focuses on churches and building coalitions.

Major Tony Ell, Commander of the Kansas City Missouri Police Department's Violent Crime Division, says law enforcement alone can't stop the killing. So the city manager's office has developed a program called Aim4Peace, which is based on strategies that are working in other cities.

Using a public health approach to crime, Aim4Peace targets high-risk individuals in a 24-square mile area of Kansas City. The program is still in its beginning stages.

Program coordinator Tracey McLendon-Cole joined KC Currents' Susan Wilson in the studio to tell her about their work. We also heard from outreach workers Rhonda Harris, Director Collins, Pat Williams, Calvin Neil, Marvin Kirkwood and Bob Davis.

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Susan admits that her “first love” was radio, being an avid listener since childhood. However, she spent much of her career in mental health, healthcare administration, and sports psychology (Susan holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Bloch School of Business at UMKC.) In the meantime, Wilson satisfied her journalistic cravings by doing public speaking, providing “expert” interviews for local television, and being a guest commentator/contributor to KPRS’s morning drive time show and the teen talk show “Generation Rap.”
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