'We have got to not settle arguments with gunfire,' says Kansas City's police chief
Since she was appointed head of the Kansas City Police Department eight months ago, Chief Stacey Graves said, reducing violent crime continues to be the top priority.
A major driver of the city's rising homicide rate, according to Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves, is the accessibility of guns and the mindset of local communities.
The city struggles to reduce violent crime because "everyone is armed," and disagreements quickly turn to "gunplay," Graves told Up to Date.
Many deadly altercations occur between familiar parties, not at random, Graves said, which is why the department is engaging with at-risk individuals to discuss conflict resolution skills.
"I think you can have gun laws in the works, but if you have a community arming themselves, and settling conflict with firearms," Graves said, "it's still going to be there. And that's where the change has to start."
Graves discussed community engagement, what is fueling gun violence and the prevalence of trigger modifications known as "switches."