Jackson County COMBAT and County Executive Frank White, Jr. welcomed neighbors, volunteers and The Kansas City Police Department out to Oak Park neighborhood for the final cleanup and prescription drug take back of the year.
“Your support today shows that by working and standing together, we can be the change to help end the violence. Our children, families and seniors deserve it,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr.
Sergeant Cory LeMoine with the Kansas City Police Department added, “Work with us, help us work with you guys and we will make this better."
Jackson County Sheriff Mike Sharp and his deputies were on site with the ‘Drug Terminator’ incinerator, collecting unused and expired medications from the neighborhood.
Sheriff Sharp said, “ I used to work these streets as a Kansas City Police Officer, and the officers that are here now know just as well as I do that abandoned buildings breed crime… No street lights breed crime, but your efforts today are going to help us, help you.”
Pat Clark from the Oak Park Neighborhood Association said, “This is what it is about. It’s not what you take, it’s what you put in.”
Over a dozen COMBAT agencies volunteered their time to help with this event. A majority of COMBAT funding goes to prevention and treatment programs serving Jackson County citizens in the urban core. Among them were Amethyst Place, ArtsTech, Benilde Hall, Blue Springs School District, Comprehensive Mental Health, Counselors Obediently Preventing Substance Abuse (COPS), Crittenton Children’s Center, Hope House, Guadalupe Centers, Jackson County CASA, The Kansas City Crime Commission, Truman Medical Centers and Twelfth Street Heritage Development Corporation.
With the help of more than 90 volunteers, COMBAT was able to clean up a large portion of Oak Park neighborhood. Dumpsters were kindly donated by City of Kansas City, Missouri to pick up bulky items such as couches, appliances and tires.
Volunteers canvassed the neighborhood with COMBAT door hangers, providing information about COMBAT and the many programs and resources they fund.
All of the volunteers enjoyed hotdogs cooked by Benilde Hall.