KC United Presents Gun Violence Reduction Action Plan Final Draft at Follow-Up Meeting

Bureau of Justice Assistance Director Karhlton Moore as a guest speaker at the KC United for Safety: Part II meeting. Photo credit: Will Crow.

Posted April 22, 2024

Kansas City organizations and nonprofit leaders gathered at the second part of KC United for Safety to discuss the updated action plan to reduce gun violence.

Last month, elected officials, law enforcement and community organizations attended the Kansas City United for Safety symposium and community forum to present a ten-point action plan to reduce gun violence. The plan from nonprofit group KC 360 focused on the pillars of prevention intervention, enforcement, reentry and sustainability.

Part two of KC United’s community meetings presented the “One United KC Plan,” a final draft of the action plan. Some additions were made to the plan following the community forum last month where residents shared their stories of violence and how they believe the city can be doing better.

Providing youth with evening and weekend social activities, implementing cognitive behavioral therapy for families in crisis and establishing more housing and employment opportunities were a few new additions.

“If you want something to go further you have to go together,” KC Common Good CEO, Klassie Alcine said. “Having the alignment with the city, police department and the community is critical for this to get off the ground.”

Furthermore, Alcine believes the Friday meeting will cause more local businesses to step up in violence prevention.

A section of Friday’s meeting was devoted to what businesses can do to help gun violence reduction. Featured businesses included speakers from Alphapointe, Made in KC Marketplace, Cherry Co. and Husch Blackwell.

“This is everyone’s problem and therefore everyone has a role in addressing it,” Husch Blackwell managing partner Jeff Simons said.

During his time on stage, Simons advocated for the Kansas City business community to be a humble participant in the prevention effort. Many root causes of gun violence in the community have been created by system structures established decades ago, Simons added.

While KC 360 is not yet at the phase to begin funding asks from businesses and groups, what they are experiencing more of is collaboration and commitment, Kansas City Mayor Pro Tem Ryana Parks-Shaw said.

“We’ve seen several philanthropic organizations here in the room today and they have been asking ‘What can we do?’ and they don’t quite know how yet,” she said. “They are coming forward and committing support. That shows me we are moving in the right direction.”