Kansas City nonprofit turned to this Midwest city for ideas on fighting gun violence

·1 min read
Robert A. Cronkleton

A crime-fighting approach in Omaha could help Kansas City stem the rise of gun violence, according to the nonprofit KC Common Good, which is spearheading a local effort.

Omaha leaders were in Kansas City Friday to discuss their successes with a program called Omaha 360 at a public safety coalition meeting held at the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce in Union Station.

Omaha has seen a reduction in shootings of 74% over the past 15 years and its homicide rate fell to its lowest in 30 years through the Omaha 360 violence prevention collaborative, according to KC Common Good.

The city also has seen the clearance rate for homicides rise from 30% to 80% while police shootings decreased over the last 10 years.

KC Common Good is looking to replicate Omaha’s successes through the KC 360 initiative, which takes a community-based approached to reducing gun violence, building stronger community relations with police and implementing justice reforms.

In May, interim Kansas City Police Chief Joseph Mabin announced on his blog that the department had joined KC 360 and was conducting pilot programs in the Santa Fe and Oak Park neighborhoods.

“Omaha 360 has been successful in working with community partners in the areas of prevention, intervention, and community engagement,” Mabin said. “The result has been a large decrease in gun and gang violence.”

If the programs work in those neighborhoods, Mabin said it would expand to the whole city.

The Omaha 360 initiative has been recognized as a best practice by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods.