To fight crime, register your security camera
If you have a home security camera, you can help Johnson County law enforcement agencies solve crimes.
County officials are encouraging residents to register their cameras with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. The Community Camera Partnership program securely maps the location of exterior home security systems, so authorities can quickly determine who might have video evidence of a crime. Police would then contact the camera owner for access to the footage, which could be used as evidence in court.
“We are excited to offer this opportunity to Johnson County citizens to partner with us to curb criminal activity in our neighborhoods,” said Lt. Paul Nonnast.
The program is not intended for active surveillance or for officers to monitor what residents and their neighbors do. Police will not have direct access to anyone’s video system, and the information submitted will remain confidential.
Find the registration link in the news item at jocogov.org. The form can be filled out by business owners, too.
Shawnee sets meetings on ballot issue
The city of Shawnee has scheduled two informational meetings where residents can ask questions about the proposed community center that’s on a May mail-in ballot.
The meetings run from 6 to 7:30 p.m., with presentations at 6:30 p.m., on these dates:
▪ April 10 at the Shawnee Civic Centre, 13817 Johnson Drive.
▪ April 29 at the Monticello Library, at 22435 W. 66th St.
If approved, the community center would be built near 61st Street and Woodland Road.
SevenDays battles hate and bigotry
A 2014 hate crime, which took the lives of three people at Jewish facilities in Overland Park, has given rise to an annual observance designed to show how hatred and bigotry can be overcome by kindness and respect.
“SevenDays - Make a Ripple, Change the World” will take place around the Kansas City area April 9-15 with events that include service projects, community discussions, a blood drive and other activities.
On the evening of April 11, Mindy Corporon, who lost her father and son in one of the attacks, will interview two reformed white supremacists, Christian Picciolini and Shannon Martinez, at the Church of The Resurrection-Foundry, 13720 Roe Ave. in Leawood.
The three also will be at a business luncheon the following day in downtown Kansas City.
In addition, Best Best Regards Bakery and Café will be selling SevenDays kindness cookies, which come with SevenDays educational materials.Twenty-five percent of sales will be given to Corporon’s Faith Always Wins Foundation, which spearheads the SevenDays observance.
Orders will be taken only through www.givesevendays.org, which also has information and registration links for SevenDays events and related activities.
County names criminal justice coordinator
Allison Dickinson began work late last month as criminal justice coordinator for Johnson County Government.
She will manage the county’s data-driven criminal justice efforts and major projects to address the root causes of criminal behavior. She previously worked in community corrections for a four-county judicial district that includes Ottawa, Kansas.
Dickinson earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology, with course work emphasizing criminology, in 2007 from Kansas State University. In 2006, she attended a program at the Universidad Veritas in Costa Rica, where she studied Spanish and performed archaeological work with National Museum of Costa Rica.
New play equipment in Prairie Village park
Prairie Village has finished installing new playground equipment in Franklin Park at Roe Avenue and Somerset Drive.
A musical playset was installed in December, and a play area for 2- to 5-year-olds was finished in January. A separate area for 5- to 12-year-old children was completed March 11.
The structures have many inclusive features and include six physical fitness elements of play: swinging, climbing, brachiating (swinging from one arm to another on overhead equipment), spinning, sliding and balancing.
Merriam names acting police chief
Capt. Todd Allen is the acting police chief in Merriam as of March 26. He took over from Chief Michael Daniels who retired April 1.
Allen joined the Merriam Police Department in 1996 after graduating from the Johnson County Regional Police Academy. He has been been a captain for five years.
SM district to host student health event
The Shawnee Mission School District will host a free student wellness event from 5 to 8 p.m. April 10 at Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, 12701 W. 67th St. in Shawnee.
Tim DeWeese, director of Johnson County Mental Health, will speak. Those attending can rotate through three of the more than 10 breakout sessions offered about children at a variety of ages. Topics include social communication and engagement, non-crisis support, eating disorders, sexual wellness, human trafficking, vaping and somatic symptoms.
The session is open to all parents, guardians and care providers. Child care will provided to those who register ahead of time at smsd.org/families/family-student-services.
Free tree/shrub seedlings
From 9 a.m. to noon on April 6, or until supplies run out, residents can pick up free tree and shrub seedlings at three locations in Overland Park.
All species of trees and shrubs will be bare root and come with instructions on planting and maintenance.
The locations are the Matt Ross Community Center at 8101 Marty St., the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center at 11902 Lowell Ave. and the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at 8909 W. 179th St.
No registration or admission fee is required.
Open house for SM police, fire and EMS studies
The Shawnee Mission School District has scheduled an open house and dedication on April 4 for its Career and Technical Campus, which contains the Project Blue Eagle law enforcement, fire science and EMS program.
Students and parents can visit classrooms, see Project Blue Eagle students demonstrate skills they are learning and talk about the program with instructors and students.
The open house will run from 6 to 8 p.m. at the campus, which opened this semester at 11475 W. 93rd. St. in Overland Park. A short dedication ceremony is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
Child/vehicle safety program launched
With $125,000 from State Farm Insurance, a local non-profit has launched the “Childproof Your Ride” child/vehicle safety program to educate parents and caregivers across Kansas and Missouri about how to keep young ones safe in and around cars.
Spearheading the program is the Olathe-based KidsAndCars.org founded by Janette Fennell.
Free dance performances in Leawood
The Leawood Stage Company will host a day of free dance performances - ranging from tap, Irish step and ballet to aerial, hip-hop and belly dancing - on April 6 at Ironwoods Park, 147th Street and Mission Road.
The program, which lasts from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., is organized by the Leawood-based VidaDance Company. Performers include college and professional companies, as well as independent choreographers and studios.
Those attending are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chairs. Picnics are allowed, but alcohol is not. In the case of cold or rainy weather, the event will move inside the Lodge at Ironwoods Park on the afternoon of April 7.
Large item pickup soon in Prairie Village
Prairie Village residents can start cleaning out their basements and garages now for the annual large item pickup on two Saturdays in April.
The dates are April 13 for residents on and north of 75th Street and those east of Belinder Road and April 20 for residents south of 75th except for those east of Belinder.
Items should be at the curb by 7 a.m. Visit pvkansas.com on what’s acceptable and what’s not.