Thursday, August 20, 2009

KCPD invites school staff, parents to Partner to Protect Our Children in Saturday forum


To better protect the city’s children, commanders of the Kansas City Missouri Police Department will meet with area school leaders and teachers in a forum Saturday to discuss crime issues facing youth in our community.

The forum, titled Partnering to Protect Our Children, will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 22, at the Regional Police Academy, 6885 N.E. Pleasant Valley Road. All school administrators, counselors, teachers, parents and anyone interested in the welfare of children are invited to attend the free forum.

The Partnering to Protect Our Children forum marks the first of its kind for KCPD. After hearing a presentation by the Narcotics and Vice Division a couple months ago about disturbing drug trends targeting juveniles, Chief James Corwin felt that critical information should be distributed to schools.

“We felt like it would be a great opportunity for us to partner with school administrators to get information out about dangerous trends we’re seeing involving youth,” said Major Jan Zimmerman, commander of the Narcotics and Vice Division.

The forum also is open to parents, grandparents, neighbors and anyone who is interested in the health and welfare of the city’s children.

Commanders of each of Kansas City’s patrol divisions will present about problems they see affecting youth in their specific area, such as neighborhood party houses in Central Patrol Division, burglaries in Metro Patrol, fight clubs and marijuana use in North Patrol and curfew issues in South Patrol.

Members of the Narcotics and Vice Division also will present community-wide problems, such as drugs and gangs. They will teach attendees how to identify drugs and how to spot gang members through things like tattoos and slang usage. A majority of identified Kansas City gang members are between the ages of 15 and 22. Commanders of all divisions will discuss what they are doing to combat these issues. They also will present information about police youth programs such as DARE and the Police Athletic League.

Participants will then be invited to ask questions and get to know the police who serve their area.

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