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Kansas City No Violence Alliance Turns To Prospect Avenue

The Kansas City No Violence Alliance kicked off a two-year long effort Saturday to reduce violent crime around Prospect Avenue.

NoVA partners will work with Kansas City, Missouri police on the area from 39th Street to 25th Street going north-south and Paseo to Indiana going west-east. 

Detective Maurice Oatis is one of four officers who will be embedded in the area.

"The biggest problem is actually the blight," Oatis said. "The vacant areas, the trash left out in the area: people not really caring about their community is the main issue that people are worried about right now."

The Center for Conflict Resolution, a local mediation service provider, will also help NoVA create neighborhood "accountability boards" to handle small-scale crimes. The idea is that the community run boards can work with crime victims and perpetrators to help avoid escalation. 

CCR Executive Director Annette Lantz-Simmons says it will also help keep youth out of the criminal justice system.

"A group of boys who are out tagging buildings one night don't necessarily need to go through the criminal justice process," Lantz-Simmons said. "But their community members are there to support and say, 'What do you need to change this behavior so it doesn't happen again?'"

The latest NoVA effort is funded by the Byrne Criminal Justice Initiative, which is part of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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