Organized in 1949 to investigate corruption, the Commission has become a model for ways to organize the struggle for greater public safety. At its inception, Kansas City Businessman and civic leader E.M. Dodds pushed for the Commission to cut down on "a rash of homicides and increased Lawlessness".
In 1982, the first anonymous call began rolling into the Commission-sponsored TIPS Hotline, and it has since become one of the three most successful Crime Stoppers programs worldwide, clearing more than 24,000 crimes off the books. In 1994, the Metropolitan Community Service Program began beautifying and restoring Kansas City neighborhoods by organizing cleanups by offenders ordered to serve the community as part of their sentences.
Recognizing the need to support the families of law enforcement officers, the Commission launched the Surviving Spouse and Family Endowment Fund, or SAFE, in 2003, and has since provided no-strings-attached financial support to those struggling after a tragedy in the line of duty. In 2008, the Commission built on those successes by launching the Second Chance program. For those who desire the tools to change their lives, Second Chance provided resources to instill that change, lowering the local recidivism rate to less than 20 percent.
A mere glance at news headlines makes it obvious that it's more important than ever to support law enforcement. The Crime Commission isn't on the outside looking in. It is community leaders and citizen-volunteers working with police chiefs and sheriffs across metropolitan Kansas City to enact concrete measures to support those who risk their lives to make our city a safer place.