September 2, 2013
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster announced today a four-day Urban Crime Summit to explore meaningful responses to the high rate of urban crime facing metropolitan areas in Missouri. Both St. Louis and Kansas City consistently rank in the top 10 nationally for high levels of violent crime.
The Attorney General's Urban Crime Summit will be held September 16 and 17 in Kansas City at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and September 18 and 19 in St. Louis at Saint Louis University School of Law.
Commissioner Raymond Kelly of the New York City Police Department will open the Summit on Monday, September 16.
In addition to Koster, the panel each day will be composed of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, Kansas City Mayor Sly James, Chief Sam Dotson of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, and Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forté. County Executive Charlie Dooley and St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch will join the panel at the St. Louis meetings. All sessions are free and open to the public.
"This Summit is not simply another community meeting about a challenging topic," Koster said. "This Summit will bring to Missouri many of the nation's preeminent scholars and most important voices in the law enforcement community. For four days, we will explore solutions to the heartbreaking problem of violence in our cities."
"Violent crime affects every aspect of our community," Koster said. "Beyond the threat to personal safety, violent crime impacts Missouri families and schools and our state's economic development. I appreciate the commitment from Mayor Slay, Mayor James, Chief Dotson and Chief Forté to set aside four days for a critical examination of the most effective ways to improve public safety."
Recognizing that the impact of violent crime in our cities extends beyond urban communities, Koster said, "The goal of this summit is to examine the best practices developed throughout the nation to address urban crime and to develop a series of recommendations for meaningful policy reforms."
"I appreciate Attorney General Koster highlighting the unique situation of our state's metropolitan areas when it comes to violent crime," said Kansas City Mayor Sly James. "It was made even more evident to me during my recent visit to the White House that this problem is deeply rooted in urban areas and that there is no silver bullet solution. We will only be able to tackle violent crime when we make it a priority at every level of government."
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay added, "Our streets are awash with guns. It is far too easy for criminals to get them. This has got to stop. No matter where you live, how much money you make, or what the color of skin is, you have a right to live in a safe neighborhood and not have to worry about becoming a victim of a crime. We must send a message to the people who are all too willing to carry and use illegal guns in our cities: your nonsense won’t be tolerated here."
Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forté said, "Reducing violent crime in Kansas City has been my primary goal since I was sworn in as Chief of Police. I look forward to discussing violence prevention strategies with our cross-state colleagues and some of the most innovative thinkers in the field of law enforcement."
"Violent crime continues to plague urban areas throughout the country. As a society we must all work together to address crime," said St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson. "This summit is a great opportunity to engage in conversation centered around new and innovative practices to combat crime in our region."
The Attorney General's Urban Crime Summit will feature national and regional experts on issues such as hot-spot policing, crime mapping, evidence-based policing, strategies to reduce gun violence, and the challenges facing felons reentering society.
The agenda for the Summit is being finalized and will be available on the Attorney General’s website at ago.mo.gov when confirmed. Each of the four sessions is slated to run from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. daily. Each day will include designated media availability.
Confirmed presenters include: