Despite the persistent presence of crime in a neighborhood in KCMO, the residents refuse to give up on their efforts to eliminate violence from their community.
Located in the heart of the city, the Oak Park neighborhood is considered one of the oldest and most historic neighborhoods. Its boundaries are Prospect Avenue to the west, Jackson Avenue to the east, East 31st Street to the north, and Brush Creek Boulevard to the south.
Pat Clarke dedicates his life to creating a safe and welcoming community for families looking to settle in the historic east side of the city.
As the president of the neighborhood association, Clarke fulfills an important role in the community.
During a recent community meeting, the police department presented startling statistics to him.
In an effort to promote transparency and improve community safety, the department has announced that it will be sharing crime statistics with local neighborhoods. This initiative aims to keep community members informed and involved in efforts to combat crime. By providing access to this information, the department hopes to foster a stronger partnership with residents and work together toward creating safer communities.
KSHB 41 was read some of the numbers by Clarke.
He expressed his concern that the community he once knew as a village has become a group of disconnected individuals. “We aren’t a village anymore,” he stated.
Clarke and a few of his neighbors aimed to bring the attention of the metro towards these statistics, hoping to shed light on the challenges they face.
Fifteen-year-old Rihanna Shelby expressed her frustration, saying “It’s time to let it out and make the world aware of what’s happening. It’s really irritating, annoying, and it gets on my nerves.”
According to Sharece Shelby, Rihanna’s mother, the constant incidents of shooting, car thefts, and people hiding in their vicinity are causing fear and apprehension. These occurrences have become a part of their daily lives, making them feel unsafe and vulnerable.
As we sat down for the interview today, the sound of gunfire echoed down the block, creating an unsettling atmosphere.
Shelby expressed her fear upon hearing gunshots, stating “it’s scary, I freeze up.”
Rihanna’s mother is Sharece Shelby.
Shelby, fondly known as “Mama Dukes,” is always eager to lend a helping hand. Her main focus is on guiding the kids in her community towards a better path. She understands that many of these children lack parental guidance and therefore, she takes it upon herself to provide them with sound advice and support. Her dedication towards making a positive difference in their lives is truly admirable.
The neighborhood is gripped with a perpetual sense of fear.
According to a concerned resident, the area is plagued with a lot of stolen vehicles and reckless driving by kids who speed up to 100 MPH, putting everyone’s lives in danger. The situation is so scary that it has resulted in several incidents of shootings and homicides. The resident expressed her fear for the safety of the children who are often seen playing around the corner and the damage to their cars caused by the reckless driving.
According to the Shelby family, they always turn to Clarke whenever something similar occurs.
According to Rihanna, Pat is someone who can be relied upon at any given time of the day. She mentioned that even if he is contacted ten times a day, he is always ready to lend a helping hand. She also stated that Pat is the kind of person who comes to the rescue during difficult situations. He doesn’t hesitate to call the police when necessary and does everything in his power to resolve the issue.
It’s no secret to anyone in Clarke’s neighborhood that there are problems.
Clarke openly admitted that he cannot hide his emotions when a child from Oak Park is either murdered or involved in a murder case, as he believes that they represent the community as a whole.
The Kansas City Police Department is collaborating closely with the local community and their partners to ensure safety and security in the area.
KCPD Chief Stacy Graves emphasized the importance of ensuring safety for Kansas City families by discouraging dangerous behavior. She believes that it is crucial for neighborhoods to come together and take a stand against violent crimes in their communities. By providing necessary resources and services, they can address the root causes of these issues and work towards creating a safer environment for everyone.
Clarke is seeking individuals who are willing to take action towards addressing the fear present in his community.
In Oak Park, our mission is clear. Given the high crime rate in the area, we are seeking individuals who are exhausted with the current state of affairs and are eager to make a difference. We are looking for people who are willing to stand by our side and take action to improve the situation.
Ray Wilson is a beloved member of the community, highly regarded by his neighbors.
Wilson believes that individuals who possess creative ideas and the drive to instigate change may require some assistance along the way. Despite being aware of the presence of crime in the area, Wilson has never felt overwhelmed but rather wishes for improvement.
According to Clarke, he has found a solution to the problem.
Clarke emphasized that the key to a fulfilling life is to cherish your place of residence and develop a deep sense of affection for it. According to him, this simple yet profound approach can bring immense joy and contentment into our lives. In essence, loving where you live is a powerful way to cultivate a positive and meaningful existence.