Last week, I saw the documentary “The Interrupters” at the Tivoli Cinema. It was one of the most thought provoking movies I have seen in my life. The movie is about an evidence based violence prevention program in Chicago called CeaseFire. Throughout this moving story, my mind would wander to the similar concerns we have in Kansas City over violence and our local effort to interrupt this cycle, Aim4Peace, which is modeled after the CeaseFire program.
The movie showed the real life, authentic and volatile situations that happen in some neighborhoods. Sometimes these fights or disagreements turn into gun battles or brutal attacks that result in death. The movie showed how a successful program in Chicago was reducing the acts of violence and giving people hope for the future.
This is not a fictional tale….it is a real story about a real program that has proven real results. These results are similar to those we are achieving in Kansas City. The Aim4Peace program has already achieved over a 30% reduction in homicides over a two-year period in a very violent neighborhood they have targeted in KC. But we have so much more to do.
Crime is a big concern to our community and with the new KCMO police chief and mayor giving special attention to reducing homicides in the urban core, we have a real opportunity as a community to place the needed focus on preventing violence in the urban core. The KC Chamber of Commerce is also providing leadership working with civic, neighborhood and faith leaders throughout the city to bring hope, safety and jobs to the urban core.
Before anything else, people have to feel safe where they live and work. As a community we need to focus our efforts on preventing violence and homicides. I strongly recommend that folks go see “The Interrupters” this week. It is being shown at the Tivoli Cinemas in Westport. To find show times and dates, please go to the following web site: www.tivolikc.com . To learn more about Aim 4 Peace email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 816-513-7902.