Kansas City, KS police chief discusses crime rate, solutions - KCTV5

Kansas City, KS police chief discusses crime rate, solutions

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Homicide numbers in Kansas City, KS have increased every year over the past five years, more than doubling from 2012 to 2016. (KCTV5) Homicide numbers in Kansas City, KS have increased every year over the past five years, more than doubling from 2012 to 2016. (KCTV5)
The crime rate across the state of Kansas is on the rise and the larger cities are being blamed in the most recent annual report. (KCTV5) The crime rate across the state of Kansas is on the rise and the larger cities are being blamed in the most recent annual report. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

The crime rate across the state of Kansas is on the rise and the larger cities are being blamed in the most recent annual report.

Homicide numbers in Kansas City, KS have increased every year over the past five years, more than doubling from 2012 to 2016.

“I do think it's a big city problem, speaks to the issue of deteriorated families, you know, the things that are difficult to fix that you can't just go in and say throw money and make it go away,” KCK Police Chief Terry Zeigler said.

Zeigler points out his high homicide rate reflects what’s taking place in many cities across the nation.

“It's so difficult because I don't know if there is a silver bullet for that, do that and homicides will go away," Zeigler said.

The chief says his department does what it can to reduce crime and uses crime statistics to shift resources.

KCK police are now targeting the area from Seventh to 18th streets and from Grandview Boulevard to Pacific Avenue, sending more patrols because crime in the area has been such a problem.

That hotspot program called “Project Act” appears to be working. Police released a recent video that shows how crime in that area has greatly decreased and there have been no homicides in that zone since the program started.

Drive-by shootings have dropped 52 percent. Property crimes are down 34 percent. Even car accidents are down 21 percent.

Across the city, the homicide rate this year is down. There have been 30 homicides compared to 38 at this time last year.

Zeigler praises that progress but expressed frustration in many recent cases where he believes witnesses and victims have important information they won’t share with police.

“Shooting victim at KU might end up dying on us. Doesn't want to tell who shot him but he knows who shot him,” Zeigler said. “That happens on a regular basis.”

And the cycle continues.

“Nobody talks and then these guys will go back and retaliate, now, and it goes back and forth until someone ends up dead and we start throwing people in prison,” Zeigler added.

Police are hoping the public can help with information in a recent homicide.

Derrick Horton was shot and killed after a dispute in April. The gunman drove off.

His family calls the lack of closure frustrating. Police have released the surveillance video from that day hoping someone steps forward with information.

Anyone with information about Horton’s murder is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.

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