Kansas City Police conducted a large enforcement effort focusing on individuals who are central components of large-scale criminal networks as part of the first high-visibility operation of the Kansas City No Violence Alliance (KC NoVA.)
Police arrested a total of 17 people, including suspects in multiple homicide investigations. Because investigation is ongoing, police cannot release which cases those are at this time, but they will be working with prosecutors to charge those cases and notify the public of the arrests in coming days. Forty-nine warrants were cleared by the arrests and 15 new charges brought, which could increase as detectives further work cases. Officers also recovered 4.5 grams of cocaine, 224 grams of marijuana and 200 pills.
KC NoVA launched in May 2012 and is a focused effort to deter violent crime. Since its launch, police, prosecutors, Probation and Parole and others have worked to identify those most likely to commit violent crime. They have mapped and analyzed relationships among criminals using intelligence gathered from numerous sources. A KCPD captain, sergeant and four detectives now are assigned full time to KC NoVA.
The network that was the focus of Operation Clean Sweep features about 360 individuals, including homicide suspects, 60+ people on probation or parole, known drug dealers, prostitutes, and juveniles. The Operation was centered on the group’s area of influence in the Old Northeast community of Kansas City.
Operation Clean Sweep is different than previous enforcement initiatives. Those initiatives focused on geographic hot spot areas, whereas this one focused on individuals central to Kansas City’s criminal activity.
KC NoVA is working to arrest and vigorously prosecute those at the center of these criminal networks. Those on the periphery of these networks will be offered services to help prevent them from becoming involved in more serious crime. KC NoVA has hired a master social worker to guide these individuals toward job and life skills training, transportation assistance and more. KC NoVA also will be working with faith-based and community organizations to help steer these individuals away from crime and to rebuild safer neighborhoods.
Researchers with the University of Missouri-Kansas City will evaluate KC NoVA to determine its effectiveness.
Focused deterrence efforts like KC NoVA have reduced violent crime by 30 percent in Cincinnati and Boston. Kansas City had 108 homicides in 2012. KC NoVA’s goal is to reduce that to 80 homicides per annum within two years.