There was quite a bit of hubbub last year about a hack piece by the web site URBO that labeled the intersection of Independence Avenue and Prospect as one of the top 10 most dangerous “neighborhoods” in the United States. The dog called out URBO, as well as some local Newsies, for going after the low-hanging fruit without any sort of sourcing for their “story,” a term we use loosely. For the record, we went looking for the URBO piece that surfaced last June and they have apparently removed it from their web site.
We asked KCPD’s crime analysts to give us the lowdown on crimes by zip code for 2016 and 2017. The news came back that our own 64124 zip code leads the city in three categories of the greatest reported crime per square mile (1.48 square miles). The zip code is also the area where reported violent crime increased most from 2016 to 2017.
Crime type 2016 2017
Homicide 4 13
Agg. Assault 181 194
Robbery 107 132
This represents a 33% increase in reported crime from 2016 to 2017, rising from 197 to 296 incidents. The operative verb being “reported” crime.
It’s a known fact that in neighborhoods with active block watch programs, calls to 911 increase, thus increasing reported crime numbers. Additionally, the block watch program in the Scarritt Renaissance neighborhood has often been held up as an excellent example by Chief of Police Rick Smith on exactly how to reduce crime and increase positive engagement in your neighborhood. Factor into the mix 911 calls made by Titan Security officers working for the Independence Avenue CID, and its fairly obvious why reported crime numbers are up.
The bottom line is this: more engaged people reporting crime is not a bad thing. On the contrary, it’s a very good thing and sends a message to potential criminals that there’s a much better chance of being seen and reported. While some may say the numbers represent a community rapt with crime, this dog would offer that the numbers reflect a community that is increasingly not standing for crime and is reporting it on an increasing basis.
So before the TV talking heads swoop in with yet another un-informed, out of context piece that advances false stereotypes about living in the urban core, the dog is setting the record straight.