The new U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri says the state’s increasing violent crime rate has drawn the attention of the White House Chief of Staff.

U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri Tim Garrison (2018 photo courtesy of the U.S. Attorney’s website)

Tim Garrison briefed White House Chief of Staff General John Kelly during President Trump’s Kansas City visit last week.

Garrison tells reporters he told Kelly that Missouri has three of the top 15 most violent cities in the nation, on a per capita basis.

“He (General Kelly) was asking what’s going on out here and I mentioned that statistic to him and he was floored,” Garrison says. “I think people in Washington and the East Coast tend to think of this as flyover country or Little House on the Prairie territory.”

Those three cities are St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield.

Garrison notes Missouri has the fifth-highest murder rate in the nation.

A public swearing-in ceremony was held Friday at Drury University in Springfield for Garrison, who’s the top-ranking federal law enforcement official in Missouri’s Western District.

Garrison, who briefed mid-Missouri reporters last week at the Christopher Bond Courthouse in Jefferson City, says federal officials are working with Kansas City authorities to target the city’s most violent criminals.

He says there’s been an increase in violent crime in Kansas City.

“The homicide rate in Chicago is the one that gets all the attention because, just the numbers are so great. Kansas City actually has a higher rate, not in pure numbers but in per capita basis, we have a higher murder rate than Chicago,” says Garrison.

He says federal prosecutors have worked with the Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) to identify a “targeted enforcement” area.

“Some of the worst neighborhoods in Kansas City where we’re having the bulk of those (violent) offenses committed, and trying to identify the worst of the worst offenders,” Garrison says.

Kansas City Police are still investigating this weekend’s killing of 27-year-old Deandrea Vine, a mother of four who was stabbed to death in her front yard.

KMBC-TV reports the four children were just feet away inside the home when their mother was murdered.

KCPD officers have also been impacted by the increased violence.

Kansas City Police say three of their officers were shot this month by murder suspect Marlin Mack, who was later killed by police during a shootout.

The Western District of Missouri includes Kansas City, St. Joseph, Springfield, Columbia, Jefferson City and Warrensburg.

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