Kansas City, Missouri

Reducing Violent Crime through Social Network Analysis-based Offender Targeting

Kansas City Police Patch

Site LE Agency
Kansas City Police Department

Site Researcher
Kenneth J. Novak, Ph.D., University of Missouri–Kansas City

Site Focus
Violent Crime

SPI Strategy
Social network analysis, Offender-based policing

Site Cohort
2012

Site Profile
Mid-sized urban area of 314.95 sq. miles with a population of 464,073

Project Overview

The Kansas City, MO Smart Policing Initiative (KCMO SPI) aimed to reduce violent crime in the city, particularly murders and aggravated assaults with guns. The KCMO SPI began as a foot patrol project, but later shifted to an offender-based focused deterrence approach. The latter project became a citywide campaign called the KC No Violence Alliance (KC NoVA). Both projects focused on violent victimizations among high-risk individuals. KCMO SPI also created a process to sustain innovative strategies across the organization. Finally, the research partner used an interrupted time-series analysis to evaluate the impact of KC NoVA on violent crime. Results showed that foot patrol areas experienced a 26 percent reduction in aggravated assaults.

Data Highlight

  • From 2010 through 2013, Kansas City ranked among the worst of the 50 largest cities in the U.S. for homicide, averaging more than 100 per year.
  • Results showed that foot patrol areas witnessed a 26-percent reduction in aggravated assaults and robberies during the 90-day project period.
  • No reductions in crime were reported in control areas or in catchment areas surrounding the foot patrol areas.
  • The focused deterrence strategy produced statistically significant decreases in homicides (40 percent) and gun-related aggravated assaults (19 percent).