© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

KC 360 aims to reduce gun violence in Kansas City by taking a page from Omaha's book

Klassie Alcine, CEO of KC Common Good, is joined by community members for a canvassing walking in Kansas City's Santa Fe neighborhood.
KC Common Good
Klassie Alcine, CEO of KC Common Good, is joined by community members for a canvassing walk in Kansas City's Santa Fe neighborhood.

Kansas City is dangerously close to setting a new record high for homicides. Modeled after an Omaha program that drastically reduced gun deaths, the Kansas City nonprofit KC Common Good is taking aim at addressing the root causes of violent crime.

Hundreds of people die in Kansas City as result of gun violence every year.

Previously faced with increasing rates of gun violence in the early 2000s, Omaha, Nebraska, responded with a comprehensive and collaborative effort between community members, city leaders and police. According to Willie Barney, CEO and founder of the Empowerment Network, the coordinated program reduced gun violence by 70% and homicides by 50%.

Omaha 360, an initiative born out of the Empowerment Network in December 2008, has since received national attention for its success.

In Kansas City, which is seeing one of its deadliest years ever. KC Common Good aims to replicate the Omaha initiative with its own KC 360 program. The organization began meeting with stakeholders in June 2022.

"We have over 60 organizations that come to 360 ever single week," said Klassie Alcine, CEO of KC Common Good.

"When we started this process, it was very tense. The police would sit on one side, the community would sit on the other side. And you know, a year later we could have a meeting and everyone sits with each other," Alcine said. "But community members will show up and come to the police and say, 'Hey, here's a video of who did this shooting.'"

Stay Connected
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As a producer for Up To Date, my goal is to inform our audience by curating interesting and important conversations with reliable sources and individuals directly affected by a topic or issue. I strive for our program to be a place that hosts impactful conversations, providing our audience with greater knowledge, intrigue, compassion and entertainment. Contact me at elizabeth@kcur.org or on Twitter at @er_bentley_ruiz.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.