Mayor Establishes Citizen Task Force on Violence

November 18, 2015 - KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
Diverse Group Will Develop Recommendations to Reduce Crime

Mayor Sly James today established a Citizen Task Force on Violence and asked its members to address ways to reduce violent crime in the City.

“While Kansas City gets a lot of national recognition for entrepreneurism, tech initiatives and the World Series Champion Royals, I remain disheartened by persistent and senseless violence in our City, whether the violence involves guns, domestic violence, child abuse or potential terrorism,” James said.

“I am asking this diverse group of citizens to spend the next year consulting with subject-matter experts and others to explore ways to make Kansas City safer,” he said. “We must reduce violence of all types so that everyone here — and everyone who wants to be here — will be safe at home, at work and in the community.”

James said the mission of the Citizens Task Force on Violence is to gather facts and data to recommend pragmatic policies and best practices about how we as a City can prevent, address and respond to violence in all its forms, including but not limited to active shooter situations, violence-driven street crime, illegal use of weapons, domestic violence, child abuse and other violent situations.

James named Fourth District Councilwoman Jolie Justus as chair of the committee. Councilwoman Justus is a former Missouri State Senator and State Senate Minority Leader. She was named Legislator of the Year by both the Missouri Association of Prosecutors and the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in recognition of her successful three-year effort to revise the Missouri Criminal Code.

Vice Chair is Andres Dominguez, a program officer at the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. Formerly a senior community affairs advisor for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and a senior program officer at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.  Dominguez’s focus interests include safety net and social determinants of health.

Also named to the task force:

  • Deidre Anderson, Executive Director, United Inner City Services.
  • Charles Atwell, attorney with Foland Wickens, P.C., and a former Jackson County Circuit Court Judge.
  • Charles Caisley, Vice President, Marketing & Public Affairs, Kansas City Power & Light.
  • Alissia Canady, Fifth District City Councilwoman.
  • Jose Faus, Artist, Writer and Educator.
  • Tina Harris, Pastor, Grand Avenue Temple United Methodist Church.
  • Jill M. Katz, Attorney.
  • Jonathan Kemper, Vice Chairman, Commerce Bancshares Inc.
  • Rodney Knott, CEO, ReEngage Staffing Services.
  • Allan Markley, Superintendent, Raytown Quality Schools.
  • Nancy Olivares, Attorney.
  • D.J. Pierre, Assistant City Prosecutor, City of Kansas City, Missouri.
  • Judy Sherry, President-Owner, Judy Sherry Consortium, Advertising & Marketing.
  • Rosilyn Temple, Founder and Executive Director, Kansas City Chapter, Mothers in Charge Inc.
  • Wick Thomas, Teen Services Librarian, Kansas City Public Library.
  • Crystal Williams, Jackson County Legislator.

Mayor James asked that the Task Force complete its work within 12 months. The City Clerk will post public notices of Task Force meetings.


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Note to editors and reporters: A request to receive notice of Task Force meetings may be submitted at A video of the news conference will be posted soon at


Contact: Michael Grimaldi: 816-513-6579 or cell: 816-945-2902