Officers with Kansas City Missouri Police Department’s East Patrol Division visited Sheffield Place Wednesday, July 24 to offer valuable safety training tips to their families.
Sheffield Place is a nonprofit treatment and transitional living program that offers families support, resources, and a safe space to transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency.
They offer fully-integrated programs including residential housing services, residential clinical services, aftercare clinical services, and permanent housing services.
Sheffield Place offers life skills training, including keeping and maintaining a home, preparing healthy meals on a budget, effectively resolving conflict, and managing finances.
The safety training course allowed the women to engage with officers, ask questions, and learn practical and tangible safety tips.
Officers Greg Smith, Danelle Williams, and Patrick Byrd taught various aspects of safety and ways women can better protect themselves in case of harm.
Officer Smith discussed the “Self Defense 4-A’s” which are being aware, alert, avoiding problem areas, and taking action.
The women were encouraged to not walk/run alone at night, carry a whistle or spray, not wear headphones, and given tips on how to fight back if they do find themselves a victim of a crime.
The women were engaged and interacted with officers, asking questions and opening up transparent dialogue about what it looks like to be a victim of a crime.
Kelly Welch, executive director of Sheffield Place, said she thought the training went extremely well. She said the women enjoyed it, learned a lot, appreciated the officers being there and visiting with them and their children.
Welch said it’s important to host these type of trainings to raise awareness and learn to be safer.
“For our women it is really important to learn more about safety in regard to domestic violence,” said Welch. “Many of our families have not had positive interactions with law enforcement, so this provided an avenue for them to have a positive experience. The women were comfortable around the officers and asked some questions about specific situations. I overheard a woman asking about a warrant and the officer offering to help her find out more. The officers also provided positive, caring role models. In a note to the officers one woman wrote ‘thank you for showing us that anything is possible.’ Another wrote, ‘thanks for sharing your courage, strength, and hope with us.’ KCPD, especially East Patrol, is really good to us and we appreciate them taking time to spend the evening with our families.”