Thursday, December 9, 2010

City Council honors Westside officers

The Kansas City Council passed a resolution today honoring KCPD Officers Matt Tomasic and Octavio "Chato" Villalobos. Both of these officers work out of the Westside Community Action Network Center and are the absolute picture of community policing. They recently presented at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference and received a lot of praise there.

Part of the resolution honoring Officers Tomasic and Villalobos states:

WHEREAS, the Westside Community Action Network (Westside CAN Center), a pioneer in community policing, has set the gold standard for innovative and effective crime prevention; and

WHEREAS, the Westside CAN Center, with a vision that sees all people as human beings without regard to country of origin, status or income, in its first year of operation, reduced calls for service on the City's Westside by 57 percent; and

WHEREAS, much of the Westside CAN’s success is due to the dedication of its police officers in building a trust in the diverse Westside community through such programs as the Urban Camp-out, Back to School Pep Rally and school supply drive, graffiti abatement, a Day Labor Center, and weekly visits to neighborhood schools.

Four years ago, I wrote an article in Police Chief Magazine about the formation of a Day Labor Center on the Westside that solved a host of community problems. Officers Tomasic and Villalobos along with Westside CAN Director Lynda Callon were the driving force behind that initiative.

The officers received a standing ovation at City Hall today. Many Westside merchants, school staff and neighbors came to support them, and it was great to see the relationship they've built together. Congratulations, Officers.

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