Robbery, drugs, murder and riots have polluted the news and cautioned communities all over the Kansas City area and left people with the question, what is going on in our city and what is going to happen next?
Some would say that it’s normal and happens in every city; however, crime rates have increased over the past two years by 5 percent in the Kansas City, Mo., area.
In 2016, there were 130 homicides; the highest it’s been since 2008, and this year there have been 83, putting this year on track to beat the year before.
Nick Sanders, police officer for Kansas City, explained that over several years of working downtown he has noticed an increase in the calls for homicides and battery.
“When I get homicide calls, I never know to what extent it will be because it seems to gradually get worse,” Sanders said.
Damon Bell, school SRO, has worked as an SRO in the Olathe schools and noticed the increase in crime within the city.
But, he explained that there isn’t much that the Olathe Police Department can do.
“When a homicide happens in the city and they haven’t caught the suspect, we here in Olathe watch and listen for things that we could keep an eye out for if they come to Olathe,” Bell said.
When crimes and homicides happen in the city, it not only impacts the city, but the suburban areas as well, and while many places are worse, it is still shocking to have higher violence rates than usual.
“With being a SRO in the high school, I don’t usually get involved in the city conflicts because when I go home, I like to live a semi-normal life,” Bell said.
Because Bell is in the Olathe Police Department and an SRO in the high school, he tries to tie everything back to the school to make sure suspects who are on the loose do not have any connection to the school.
Several months ago after shots were fired at Austin’s Bar and Grill, Bell was sent to lock down Olathe South and Indian Trail and account for everyone in the buildings that night.
“After I was done securing the schools, listening to dispatch, all the police departments in the Kansas City Metro area were working together to find the suspect who was later found in Missouri,” Bell said.
Just as Olathe homicides, Kansas City, Mo., homicides occur more often and require more help, but the police departments work fast and efficiently to keep the community safe.
With the increase in these shooting close to our homes, we must take precautions and be aware of how dangerous the world is. We also must realize how we need to be careful in what we do. It is good advice to be nice to people instead of hostile