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Unified front is needed to steer area youths from violent crimes

Kansas City police have identified almost 200 young people who are connected to groups associated with crimes such as shootings, armed assaults, robberies and weapons trafficking. About half of the teenagers are 16 and younger, and a few are as young as 13.

Young suspects have been charged in two of the Kansas City region’s most violent and high-profile crimes so far this year.

The four men accused of killing Shawnee gun shop owner Jon Bieker Jan. 9 in a robbery gone bad range in age from 18 to 20. Continue reading

Using Research to Reduce Violent Crime

Direct involvement by UMKC faculty aids No-Violence Alliance

An ongoing law enforcement effort to rethink strategies to reduce violent crime in the Kansas City area has its own secret weapon: UMKC.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, part of the university’s College of Arts and Sciences, is intimately involved in the Kansas City No Violence Alliance (NoVA). NoVA is a 2-year-old multi-agency effort to reduce gun-related violence.

Chancellor Leo E. Morton serves on NoVA’s governing board, and UMKC faculty members and graduate students are embedded in NoVA’s effort to implement a crime-prevention approach known as “focused deterrence,” which helps police look beyond individual criminals to the criminals’ entire social networks.

Read the UMKC Today article.