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