UMKC Chancellor Leo. E. Morton was presented the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award by FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Kaste on behalf of UMKC. The award was established in 1990 to publicly recognize an organization or an individual in each of the FBI’s field offices across the U.S. for outstanding achievements and/or contributions towards crime and violence prevention.
UMKC was selected as a candidate for the award because of the University’s partnership with the Kansas City Police Department in the No Violence Alliance (NoVA) project, which is designed to combat violent crime issues in the greater Kansas City area.
The University has made impressive contributions to NoVA by conceptualizing and designing the project, as well as providing a research program for identifying offenders and resources to train law enforcement officers.
The research program was created by UMKC Department of Criminology professors Ken Novak and Andrew Fox who use sophisticated social mapping software and police information to identify connections between individuals who engage in criminal activity.
According to the Kansas City Star, Kansas City’s crime rates are the lowest they’ve been in decades, and NoVA recorded 54 arrests on Jan. 6 when task force members raided a Kansas City home.
A formal ceremony will be held in Washington, D.C. later in the year where chancellor Morton and 55 other recipients will be recognized by the FBI Director for outstanding achievements in violence and crime prevention.