The FBI and Kansas City Police teamed up to host a Youth Night for students in the community. The event offered a detailed look into how various units operate, allowed students to engage in one-on-one discussion with officers, and learn about career opportunities in law enforcement.
Demonstrations and displays included SWAT/TAC Teams, Hostage Negotiators, Mounted Patrol, Narcotics, Dispatch, Crime Scene Investigators, Cyber Crimes, Mobile Command, Crisis Response, Counterintelligence, Bomb Techs, and more.
Rita Olson-Stawicki, Community Interaction Officer and Hostage Negotiator, was born and raised in the Kansas City area and has been with the department for 34 years. She says it has been an amazing career path.
“To me, this has been a fabulous career. No two days are alike. I don’t sit behind a desk bored. Every day is different. Everyday, I am walking into a house and I might see that there is a need in that house and I can step forward as an officer and get those resources into that house where there is a need.”
Olson-Stawicki said the goal is to show students what law enforcement does on a daily basis.
“This is an opportunity for young people to show them what law enforcement does. We bring all our units along with our crime lab side, negotiators, drones, all our toys, and all the things we utilize. We show the young people that this is what law enforcement is all about and it opens their eyes. We also have recruiters here from Highway Patrol, Jackson County Sheriff, ATF, KCPD, and FBI, so if any young person is interested in a career in law enforcement, they can talk to the recruiters. A lot of items are hands-on, allowing young people to go hands-on with equipment and tools in our everyday job.”
Officer Damon Harrell spoke to students about various career opportunities available with KCPD.
“We have jobs that start at 18-years-old with great pay, great benefits, retirement, we like to talk about those because not everyone is going to college. To be a police officer, you just have to have a high school diploma and get promoted from there.”
Non-sworn positions include Administrative Assistant, Building Operations Technician, Communications Specialist, and Detention Officer.
Sworn positions include Police Officer Candidate, Probationary Police Officer, and Police Officer. For these positions, an individual must be a U.S. Citizen who is at least 21-years-old, have a high school diploma, valid driver’s license, meet vision requirements, have no felony convictions, be drug-free, and able to live within Kansas City, Missouri limits.
Jayden Hasam, a seventh grader at the Kauffman School, was at the event and said the event helped him learn different parts of being in law enforcement.
“I am here today to discover and learn about the jobs that officers and FBI do and go through. We spoke with someone from the DEA and learned about the type of mask and gear they have to wear when they go into labs with possible meth and other things.”
Hasam said his career focus right now is sports, but there is a chance he would like to pursue law enforcement.
“My second career path that I would like would be to become an FBI agent or officer.”
For more information on the Kansas City Police Department and career opportunities, visit their new website at kcpd.org.