Police hope efforts like Operation Clean Sweep reduce homicides - KCTV5

Police hope efforts like Operation Clean Sweep reduce homicides to 80 annually

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Six homicides in the past 36-plus hours are just one of the reasons authorities are cracking down on crime and Wednesday they released the results of Operation Clean Sweep.

"We've had enough, we're calling you out, we're giving you a chance to redeem yourself and, if you don't, we're going to put your butt in jail," said Kansas City, MO, Mayor Sly James.

James was making the message crystal clear Wednesday at a media briefing regarding a recent effort dubbed Operation Clean Sweep. In it, police made 17 arrests, clearing 49 warrants and bringing 15 new charges. Of those arrests, investigators said several were of people wanted in connection with multiple homicide cases.

The media briefing happened just hours after Kansas City's double homicide in south Kansas City, another jump in an already far too high number that didn't go unnoticed at Wednesday's briefing.

"That just further solidifies why we're here and the need to be here to engage other people," said Kansas City, MO, Police Chief Darryl Forte.

Operation Clean Sweep happened Tuesday. It focused on 360 people - including homicide suspects, people on parole and drug dealers, among others - in the Old Northeast community.

It was the first major operation for the Kansas City No Violence Alliance, or KC NoVA, a group made up of local, state and government agencies joining together to systematically target the city's most dangerous criminals. The goal wasn't to arrest them; it's to give them help through counseling, education and mentoring - offering them services to help prevent them from becoming involved in more serious crime.

If the individuals didn't want the help, there was another option.

"The alternate path of violence will result in swift, severe penalties from the law enforcement community. The level of violence in Kansas City is unacceptable," said Capt. Joe McHale with the Kansas City Police Department.

"We've had six people (who have) died senselessly in the last 48 hours, six people whose families will miss them and never have them back for birthdays, holidays and graduations - nothing," James said.

Similar groups like KC NoVA have reduced violent crime by 30 percent in other large cities and authorities in Kansas City are hoping for similar results.

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.

The police department said 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.

Kansas City had 108 homicides in 2012. KC NoVA's goal is to reduce that to 80 homicides annually within two years.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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