Getting To The Heart Of The Matter
Churches from every corner of Kansas City are joining with the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department to establish trust and work within each of the 6 police divisions to create solutions that will reduce violence.
The program, Getting to the Heart of the Matter, launched August 11, 2020 with more than two dozen church leaders from multiple faiths and denominations at Police Headquarters. It’s the brainchild of The Rev. Darron Edwards, pastor of United Believers Community Church.
Its mission is, “To provide a bridge between our beloved community and the KCPD in order to enhance trust, communication and cooperation.” We truly believe Kansas City can be a safe city in every zip code.
Getting to the Heart of the Matter aims to find solutions to violence through many means.
The initiative will:
Partner with all KCPD divisions along with chaplains, social workers, community interaction and crime free multi-housing officers as additional resources, and the neighborhood groups, stakeholders, and economic entities to aid in responding to the unique challenges facing our city and the communities by which we reside.
Build meaningful relationships with high-risk youth.
Focus on connecting, educating, and rebuilding the lives of youth who have been stigmatized by mainstream society, been incarcerated or have incarcerated parents by adopting neighborhood schools.
Identify the unique systemic challenges within each neighborhood as identified by community leaders and KCPD and provide solutions or reforms.
Provide gang mediation and conflict resolution for high-risk youth with the goal of establishing cease-fires and building the foundation for active peace.
Establish accountable, community-based economic development projects and teach financial literacy.
Build partnerships with the social/secular/non-profit institutions of our city, along with like-minded communities of faith to help provide spiritual, human, and material support.
Receive advocacy training as well as provide ongoing identified training in order to create, maintain, and sustain community mobilization.
Provide job referrals to KCPD.
The Rev. Ronald Lindsay of Concord Fortress of Hope Church and The Rev. Dr. Emanuel Cleaver III of St. James United Methodist Church joined Pastor Darron LaMonte Edwards in developing Getting to the Heart of the Matter.
“Most faith communities have connections to their neighborhoods, even if the people living there don’t attend that church,” Cleaver said. “..Working with KCPD makes it where we can identify and address some of those things that need attention.”