Kansas City Police Department’s East Patrol Division is hosting a Back-to-School Drive to provide school supplies to local students in need as well as a Family Fun Night. 

The drive will help families in the community, but they will also give officers an opportunity to interact with families and for students to see officers differently than they’re typically exposed to. 

“My focus has been on the elementary and middle schools because we really want them to see police officers in a different light,” said KCPD Community Interactions Officer Patrick Byrd. “I want them to see more of what we do outside of arrests or what they see on television. So, I thought that would be a good way to engage our officers to interact with them, to show them that hey we actually do care about our community.”

For the school supply program, East Patrol is accepting school supplies like pencils, paper, backpacks, calculators and rulers at the East Patrol Campus, 2640 Prospect Ave. until Aug. 7.

The supplies will go to students at Whittier Elementary School, Gordon Parks Elementary School, the Ryogoku Soccer Academy and if supplies allow, Hope Leadership Academy.

“A lot of families are still affected by COVID. Some of the single-family homes are having a difficult time getting on their feet,” Byrd said “I know a lot of families are needing help with school supplies so we just felt a need to step up and assist them.”

East Patrol is also hosting a Family Fun Night, to engage the community on July 30, beginning at 6 p.m. at Concourse Park. There will be bouncy houses, hotdogs, popcorn, cotton candy and an opportunity to talk to local officers.

Byrd said the event is a perfect opportunity for residents in the community to ask questions they might be wanting to get off their chests.

“And hopefully we can provide some type of understanding,” he said. “Especially at a time right now where there are systems in place that seem to want to divide us. We’re still trying to unite with the community and engage with the community.”

Jazzlyn "Jazzie” is the former senior reporter for our team, who joined the company in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, through the Report for America service program. For the past two years, she covered...

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