Julia Williams
Managing Editor 

Two weeks ago, Police Foundation of Kansas City approved funding for Missouri’s first and only soft investigation room inside KCPD Headquarters, 1125 Locust St. 

Soft investigation rooms were coined by Project Beloved co-founders, Becky Halterman and her sister Tracy, in April 2017. These rooms intend to provide a safe space for sexual violence victims to share their experiences with law enforcement. 

Photo by Julia Williams

Once a soft-room is proposed to Halterman and the Project, she said the organization will hold a soft interview, followed by obtaining dimensions and painting the space. 

On average, a soft-room order takes around 8 to 12 months to approve, due to the abundance of requests. This team of local volunteers installs around two rooms per month, which includes chairs, lamps and artwork. 

Halterman said this mission for soft investigation rooms  and Project Beloved is to advocate and empower survivors of sexual violence. 

“When a victim walks in, it’s not what they are expecting,” Halterman said. “There is a lot of distrust with law enforcement, this is the first step to change that.” 

Photo by Julia Williams

She said she hopes it creates a conversational space — rather than an investigative one — to bring and report justice comfortably. 

Halterman said the idea for Project Beloved sparked a few days following the sexual assault and homicide of her niece, Molly Jane — who was found in her Fort Worth, Tx., apartment April 10, 2017.  

In addition to soft-rooms, the organization also creates package bundles, which include clothing and hygiene products, among other items. 

It also provides scholarships to Texas residents attending the University of Arkansas. Titled the Molly Jane Matheson Memorial Scholarship in Social Work — it aims to acknowledge Molly Jane’s social work aspirations.  

Former interrogation space, which now sits vacant | Photo by Julia Williams

Project Beloved is headquartered in Fort-Worth, Tx., however, the team has created soft-rooms at a homeland facility in Manhattan, NYC, North Carolina, Virginia and various additional Texas locations. This Kansas City site marks room 102 — and the only amidst Missouri and Kansas. 

While this organization currently operates domestically, Halterman said Project Beloved has received requests from Canada and Korea. 

“We will go anywhere,” Halterman said.

While a portion of its finances has come from grants, a majority of its funding is received through individual donations or fundraisers. 

“Everyone is very generous,” Halterman said. “We are very grateful.” 

Project Beloved shares its mission for soft rooms | Photo by Julia Williams

 Project Beloved has received feedback nothing short of positive — former KCPD major, and current president and CEO of the Police Foundation of Kansas City, Tye Grant, worked to provide funding toward this soft-room location. 

The Police Foundation works with KCPD to make Kansas City a safer place and funds projects — including this one with Project Beloved. 

Grant said when Chief Graves proposed this soft-room idea to the foundation, “it was a no brainer.” 

Completed soft room | Photo by Julia Williams

“Everyone in Kansas City wants to feel safe, which is at the core of each one of us,” Grant said. “We exist to move Kansas City forward and this shows exactly why here.” 

With room 102 completed, Grant said the Foundation and KCPD is already discussing a second soft-room at its Headquarters, 1125 Locust St.