PeaceKeepers say efforts are curbing city bus violences - KCTV5

PeaceKeepers say efforts are curbing city bus violences

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The people on a grassroots mission to stop the violence on Kansas City buses say their effort is working.

Volunteers for the group PeaceKeepers started riding bus routes last summer to try and stop shootings, stabbings and fights that plagued the city. While many people boarding the bus now are feeling safer, that wasn't the case this time last year when a rash of violent attacks caused police and PeaceKeepers to take action.

"It was really chaotic," said Bishop Tony Caldwell, the PeaceKeepers coordinator.

Chaos on city buses became all too common in Kansas City last summer.

"You just heard one shot. Just one gun shot and she was telling everybody to get down, get down," said Avia Ramsey who witnessed a July 2013 bus shooting.

Attacks like the one described made riders uneasy to get on Kansas City Area Transportation Authority buses at the time.

"I feel 101 percent unsafe," said Dessaray Carr, who also witnessed the July 2013 bus shooting.

Riders witnesses shootings, bus drivers getting stabbed and even attacks on other riders. They even watched as an angry woman poured gasoline on other passengers after a fight started on the bus. Members of the group PeaceKeepers said they had to act fast.

"If you notice now there haven't been any incidents on the buses for quite some time. It's gotten very quiet," Caldwell said.

The group decided to put at least two PeaceKeepers in uniform on every route in troubled areas to mediate fights before they turned violent. Kansas City, MO, police also stationed officers on many buses. Due to these efforts, bus rides have gotten noticeably safer.

"You have to set a tone with everybody that it's not going to be tolerated on the city buses," Caldwell said.

As the warmer summer months approach, the groups do not want the violence to return. They have a new goal to recruit PeaceKeepers to put at least one member on every block in Kansas City, MO.

Anyone interested in becoming a PeaceKeeper can call 816-729-2314.

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