Alliance aims to stop metro violence - KCTV5

Alliance aims to stop metro violence

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Law enforcement agencies made a direct appeal Tuesday night to criminals and associates of criminals in an effort to get them to break from their criminal background and help break the cycle of violence in Kansas City. Law enforcement agencies made a direct appeal Tuesday night to criminals and associates of criminals in an effort to get them to break from their criminal background and help break the cycle of violence in Kansas City.
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

They came from different agencies and different backgrounds, but those who gathered at Morningstar Baptist Church had one purpose - to stop the cycle of violence in the city.

"When was the last time you heard your prosecutor say, 'I'm offering you another chance?' That's what you're getting tonight," Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker told those in attendance Tuesday night.

Baker appealed to known associates of violent criminals, part of an ongoing effort called NOVA, or No Violence Alliance. In these efforts, local and federal agencies ban together to fight violent crime by reaching out to family, friends and others associated with repeat offenders.

"It's a clear message. Step out. We're giving you a new opportunity. And, if you don't, there are consequences for your behavior," Baker said.

The future for those not willing to cut their criminal ties was driven home by the display of mug shots featuring some of the major metro offenders already in custody.

"If you have a bunch of drug charges or different little things floating around county, floating around the city, well, you know how you bundle your phone and bundle your cable? We're going to bundle your charges," Capt. Joe McHale said.

Social workers and community agencies also attended, trying to help guide those seeking to escape their criminal past.

"It's charting the course of the ship in a different direction, and changing the way we do things. We didn't get in this problem overnight and it's going to take us some time to change it," McHale said.

The prosecutor's office invited about 200 of these criminal associates to the church to lay out this proposition, and about 25 were in attendance.

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