Thursday, October 20, 2011

Targeting hot spots

I said yesterday that I’d be letting you know about some of my crime-fighting strategies and priorities in the weeks and months to come, and I wanted to start by telling you about the hot spot initiative.

The hot spot initiative focuses on four separate areas totaling 13 square miles that since 2009 have been responsible for 50 percent of Kansas City’s homicides and 42 percent of its aggravated assaults with firearms. I don’t want to identify where those areas are right now because we want to stay a few steps ahead of the criminals.

The initiative began Sunday, and it involves us deploying both covert and overt operations in those hot spot areas. We are not, however, pulling resources out of any other area of the city to do this. Several of our specialized units are now working on this operation. We already have served multiple warrants and recovered drugs and firearms.

This is the immediate part of a more extensive crime-fighting plan. In 30-45 days, we’ll be putting together a committee that includes community members to look at narcotic deterrence and homicide reduction. This will be our first large-scale, community-policing project.

The hot spot initiative, meanwhile, is a long-term operation. While not sacrificing police presence anywhere else, it seeks to root out violent crime in the hardest-hit parts of town.

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