Swope Park Pavilion filled with children, police officers and parents on Oct. 1 for the October Crime Prevention Month KickOff event. The evening brought families and local enforcement together in the effort to prevent crime through education and awareness.
Over 1,000 people attended, including children from African-Centered College Preparatory Academy, Banneker Elementary, Holliday Montessori and Satchel Paige Elementary, and representatives from the six patrol stations of the Kansas City Police Department.
Mayor Sly James and Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker presented the Good Neighbor Award to 29 KCMO recpients who have done outstanding work in their community to prevent crime through community action and education.
"It's hard not to be angry when we having people rolling down the street, shooting 10 month old babies," said James. "We have to get guns out of the hands of people who don't know what they're doing."
"They should have a book, they should have a job, they should have something but they sure don't need a gun . . . our kids must have a quality education."
Community tables from Johnson County COMBAT, Vineyard Neighborhood Association, Kansas City Public Library, Truman Medical Center, FBI National Citizens' Academy Alumni Association, City of Kansas City, Kansas City Police Department, Kansas City No Violence Alliance and more connected with families with hotline information, crime prevention coloring books, children's books and school supplies.
Bouncy houses, hot dogs, and live performances from local gospel rap artists entertained families while children explored police armored vehicles and motorcycles and met two horses from the Kansas City Police Department Mounted Patrol.
Red and pink balloons were released in remembrance of past crime victims, including three year-old Damiah White, who was murdered along with her 28 year-old mother.
Rap artist Michael Anderson performed to show support to the families of the city. "I want give people awareness that a young community cares," he said.
Visit the Kansas City United Against Crime Facebook page for information on upcoming events.