KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Kansas City is at more than 100 homicides this year and it’s not a milestone that one Missouri lawmaker is taking lightly.
For Missouri State Representative Richard Brown, Kansas City isn’t just a place he works for. “Kansas City is my hometown,” he said.
That’s why, when he hears about all the violence going on, he realizes something has to be done.
“The violence isn’t just concentrated to one town,” he said. “It is growing and spreading like a cancer throughout the area and we need to do something to stop it as soon as possible.”
His biggest fear is seeing a growing city like KC hurting.
“In the district that I represent in South Kansas City, we have seen the decline in residents living in that area,” he said. “We thought this area was going to boom when Cerner moved in, but we’ve seen just the reverse of it because of the violence.”
Brown is worried about the economic impact of the violent trend that’s happening. He used several examples. One was the deadly shooting in the Power & Light District. Another was how Westport now has metal detectors and revamped security during the weekend nighttime hours.
He also pointed out how the Country Club Plaza, which he said has seen its fair share of violence, has businesses that have been hurt on the weekends because of that violence.
“People just are not patronizing the Country Club Plaza as they had in the past because of past violence, so it’s having a great affect on our entertainment district and our local business," he said.
However, the increase in violence not only hurts the businesses that are already here. It also hurts those trying to get here.
“While we’ve been very successful in attracting development and people to our community and even most recently the USDA, if there are those outside of us that fear for their safety in coming and being a part of KC, that’s an obstacle for us to continue to grow,” said Joe Reardon, President and CEO of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.
Representative Brown said there is some relief coming since Missouri Governor Mike Parson plans on giving more money in the budget to fight violence, but that won’t take effect until 2021.