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KCMO community members, leaders concerned with uptick in robberies in Historic Northeast

By Leslie DelasBour

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    KANSAS CITY, Missouri (KSHB) — The Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department says there’s an uptick in crime in the city’s Historic Northeast Neighborhood.

As the police department works to solve these cases, officers are investigating other crimes that impact the Hispanic community.

Recent home invasions and armed robberies have Mark Morales, president of the Sheffield Neighborhood Association, concerned.

“Maybe we weren’t providing enough outlets for the families, for the kids, maybe we weren’t utilizing our parks more for the kids so they have a structured activity to do,” Morales said.

As a member of the Hispanic community and resident of 58 years, he says folks in his community might be living in fear.

“Their home is their sanctuary, their place, and when they have been violated like that, it’s just hard for them to come out and more hard for them to feel comfortable,” Morales said.

Especially for many who might be faced with a language barrier, which Morales says could make it hard to trust the police.

“Maybe they don’t see a police officer that looks like them, that they can communicate with all the time, so they are just kind of keeping it to themselves,” Morales said.

On Monday, KCPD Col. Luis Ortiz delivered a message to the Northeast community about the crime spree.

John Fierro with Mattie Rhodes hopes this sends a message to the people of the Northeast community.

“I would urge them to call 911,” Fierro said. “Knowing that someone else is on the other line that can speak the language, there is a sense of cultural competency on their part.”

Now both Morales and Fierro are hoping that the community can come together to put an end to this crime.

“Let a neighbor know, maybe create a little block watch on the block, just so someone on that block can be the block leader so they feel comfortable,” Morales said.

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