KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- There have already been 84 homicides so far this year. This time last year, there were 76. Officials know this is a problem.
Monday, KCTV5 News spoke to Mayor Quinton Lucas who was planning to sit down with prosecutors to determine what more they need to do. He even mentioned an ordinance he’d like to propose this week.
Lucas spoke of bringing back some sort of gun buyback program because he says we have a supply issue, making it easier for guns to end up in the wrong hands.
He said there are a lot of moving parts with that though and things they need to find out to see if they can support such a thing.
But one other thing the mayor spoke about is an ordinance he’d like to propose this week which would allow the police to have more tools to confiscate firearms that are in the hands of minors.
“When you talk to people about Westport, or any number of areas, often the issue is that police find people with firearms and they have to give them back to them. I’d like to see us change that. I recognize right now that state law handicaps our ability to do so with adults, but it doesn’t with minors. And unfortunately, a number of our offenses this year, I’m thinking back to the incident at Central High School, have been perpetrated by minors and so that’s something that I would like to see,” Lucas said.
KCTV5 News headed over to the Fraternal Order of Police Monday to see exactly how many police officers are employed currently.
In 2007, there were 1,422. In 2017, there were 1,275. On Monday, there are just north of 1,300.
That number does not include the number of cadets going through the academy. Now, we know that the Fraternal Order of Police have been strong advocates in getting more police officers on the streets.
According to the President of the Fraternal Order of Police, Brad Lemon, he believes more officers on the streets would help. He said police were able to have a suspect in custody within minutes at the homicide in the Crossroads District on Friday night because of the officers that were there.
“I think it’s pretty clear that are close proximity to crime have the ability to place people in custody quickly. Or even stop crimes from happening. We’d like to do more proactive patrol. Looking at more people who do bad things. Looking at people who may be doing bad things. And right now with the amount of people we have working these days, it’s really difficult to do,” Lemon said.
According to Lemon, this year they are expected to lose dozens more police officers through retirements. They hope to have more coming into replace them. But he hopes having a new mayor will help fulfill the request of more officers as well as make a difference in homicide numbers.
“But, what we’re hearing and what we think was said along the campaign trail for the entire time was that crime was the number one thing to be dealt with in Kansas City. It was said over and over and over, and still is said. I think that the new mayor and the council have made it pretty clear that solving these crimes and making communities safer is going to be the priority of Kansas City, and we’re looking forward to that,” Lemon said.