KCPD’s East Patrol Division awarded $700K Smart Policing Grant

Publish Date 09/29/2016

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The Kansas City Police Department was one of six agencies nationwide to receive a Smart Policing Initiative Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The three-year, $700,000 grant will go toward identifying concentrated areas of violent crime – “micro hotspots” no larger than two to three blocks – in East Patrol Division. The grant will then fund multiple evidence-based strategies to help neighborhoods become self-policing, also known as building collective efficacy.

“Research shows that if you can do that, the community develops an internal social control, and they take responsibility for their neighborhoods, and violent crime decreases,” said East Patrol Division Commander Joseph McHale, who applied for the grant.

Major McHale said the grant requires a planning phase of six months to a year. During that time, police will use intelligence information and data to determine where the “micro hotspots” are and what is causing crime there.

Once the plan is in place, police will go to work enacting a couple different strategies: targeted social service interventions and what Major McHale called “surgical arrests and prosecutions.” The University of Missouri-Kansas City and California State University-Fresno will help KCPD study how well the strategies work.

Part of the grant funding will go to hire a social worker specializing in intervention, Major McHale said. The Smart Policing Initiative social worker will identify those most at risk for being involved in violence in the micro hotspots, and then offer them social services to get out of a life of crime.

Money from the grant also will pay for police resources to do proactive work in the identified micro hotspot neighborhoods.

In a joint press conference at East Patrol Division today, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters-Baker announced her office also received a nearly half-million-dollar Smart Prosecution grant, also from the U.S. Department of Justice. It was one of just five prosecutor’s offices in the nation to get the award.

This is the second time KCPD has been the recipient of a federal Smart Policing Grant. The report, "From Foot Patrol to Focused Deterrence" details the outcomes of the first grant from 2011-2014. The Smart Policing Grant supports violence reduction by building sustainable science-based crime reduction strategies. The initiative further seeks to promote analysis-driven, evidence-based policing by encouraging state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to develop effective, economical and innovative responses to crime. The goal is reduction in crime, and to improve community safety.  More information is available on the Department of Justice’s web site.