Most of Kansas City’s homicides occur within 13 square miles, in neighborhoods plagued by violence year after year.
Police officials know exactly where they are, and on Tuesday presented this slideshow of maps and graphs showing the history of violence in Kansas City.
Maj. Joe McHale, commander of the KCPD’s East Patrol, gave the presentation to the Citizens Task Force on Violence, recently appointed by Mayor Sly James to brainstorm ways to reduce murders. McHale showed how crime rates had increased from the 1960s to the 1970s, peaking in 1990s during the War on Drugs before declining in recent years.
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Last year, the city’s 109 homicides appeared as an increase over 2014, when Kansas City celebrated a historic low of 81, the fewest in more than four decades.
Still, the city’s violent crime rate is troubling — which is why the task force was appointed.
Kansas City’s homicide rate, about 22 per 100,000 residents, is far higher than the national rate of 4.6, and even higher than Chicago’s 17.
In the KCPD’s East Patrol, the situation is even worse, with a rate of 55 homicides per 100,000 people, McHale said.
“The individuals that live in these areas, who are suffering from this, need the help of the people who live in the rest of the city,” McHale said.
The following presentation shows yearly homicide and violent crime rates dating back to 1960. It also shows maps of killings and gang activity across large parts of the city.