STRIVING-250
Community Backed Anti-Drug Anti-Crime Anti-Violence Tax
  1. Not Just About The Numbers: Budget Coordinator Keron Hopkins

    New COMBAT Budget Coordinator


    Keron Hopkins brings 20-plus years of experience to her role as COMBAT’s new Budget Coordinator. During a career that has included posts with three major universities and a fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution, she has administered grants and contracts, managed budgets, modernized financial procedures, and overseen multi-million-dollar portfolios. She wasn’t seeking “just any job” when she accepted an offer from COMBAT. She wanted to work for an organization committed to making a difference in the community. She says of her new position with COMBAT, “This is a job worth fighting for.”
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  1. The Boxing Ballerina

    The Boxing Ballerina


    She is a graceful ballerina. Floats like a butterfly. She also throws a nice punch. Stings like a bee. Meet Brijhana Epperson—an aspiring dancer and boxer, a true “Rising Star,” a little girl with big dreams. Those dreams are being nurtured through the COMBAT-funded youth programs at the Whatsoever Community Center in Kansas City. Bri envisions herself representing Team USA at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, then someday opening a combination dance studio/boxing gym called “B2,” short for The Boxing Ballerina. It'll be a place where girls will be taught dance and self-defense—to plié and to counterpunch.
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  1. Doing More Than Patching Bullet Holes: A Trauma Surgeon's Perspective On Gun Violence

    'I Opened My Eyes More Widely...'


    A case that began with what sounded like a funny announcement in the Emergency Department—“GSW to butt, ETA 5 minutes”—has forever changed Dr. Robert Winfield, a trauma surgeon at KU Medical Center. He writes about his experience treating gunshot wounds and how he is now willing “to speak to anyone, anywhere, at any time, who wants to talk about gun violence and its root causes.” We consider his first-person account a must-read, but be warned that it does include graphic details that some readers might find disturbing. The case that started with the “GSW to butt” announcement ended with a heartbreaking encounter with a grieving mother: “The anguish she expressed when I told her of his death was like a bullet fired into my soul.”
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  1. Focus On PTSD Care

    Project RISE - Part 1

    Keeping Surivors Alive!
    A new COMBAT-funded program at Truman Medical Center is focused on treating all the wounds—seen and unseen—a gunshot can cause. Studies have tracked what becomes of gunshot wound (GSW) survivors long-term. They’ve discovered some alarming trends, including the high risks of survivors being shot again and eventually dying in another firearms-related incident. The TMC program, Project RISE, seeks to identify shooting victims with severe PTSD symptoms and provide early intervention. TMC doctors and nurses can start administering “psychological first aid” the moment a wounded patient has been physically stabilized.
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  1. FUNDING DISTRIBUTION

COMBAT Funding Pie Chart

Half Toward Enforcement

COMBAT is supported through a quarter-center sales tax that Jackson County voters first approved in 1989 and have since renewed multiple times—the last time being in 2016 when they voted (with record 77% support) extending the COMBAT text another nine years. 

The tax generates more than $20 million a year to support prevention, treatment and anti-violence programs. The County Legislature approved a forumlar to distribute the funding, with half the revenue going toward law enforcement efforts.

A quarter-cent sales tax equates to an extra 25 cents per $100 spend. An estimated 30% of COMBAT revenue is generated by non-Jackson County resident paying the tax when shopping in the county.
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  1. #STRIVINTogether

STRIVING Together To Reduce Violence In Neighborhoods

Initiative Focuses On Need For Joint Effort To Reduce Violence In Neighborhoods

This COMBAT initiative brings together school administrators, police officers, elected officials, mental health professionals, social workers, faith-based leaders and concerned citizens to address violence in Jackson County’s most vulnerable neighborhoods. 

With a focus on developing a collaborative, comprehensive and coordinated plan in each “hot spot,” STRIVIN’ recognizes that no one individual or single agency can “save a neighborhood.” It takes working together—striving together—to make any neighborhood a safe place to call home.
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