Martin City is lucky to have a strong relationship with the KCMO Police Department and now we’re even luckier to have KCPD Officer Aaron Whitehead assigned to be our new evening Community Interaction Officer (CIO)! The KCMO Police Department established the CIO program to help build positive relationships between police officers and community members and currently has twelve CIOs on staff in Kansas City.
Officer Whitehead joins Officer Mary McCall, our daytime CIO who replaced Officer Mike Hammer when he retired earlier this year. Both McCall and Whitehead have already been attending our CID board meetings to help us find ways to prevent crime in Martin City.
After 15 years as a patrolman at KCPD’s South Patrol Division, Whitehead said he is looking forward to working with the community in a new way.
“My goal is to build bridges between community members and police officers so we all trust each other more,” said Whitehead. “I hope to find new ways to work together to make South Kansas City a safer place for everyone.”
Whitehead is no stranger to Martin City. From 1999-2002, he was a Youth Specialist at Cornerstones of Care’s Ozanam Campus where he led activities and supervised students. You might say building relationships is his calling!
“I enjoyed working with the students at Ozanam because many of them came from difficult backgrounds, and it was rewarding to give them the extra attention and guidance they needed to be successful,” said Whitehead. “The experience inspired me to become a police officer so I could serve and help even more people in the community.”
In just a few months in their new role, Officers Whitehead and McCall have been busy presenting to community groups and planning events, such as a recent family movie night at the South Patrol station.
Whitehead is also eager to establish relationships with local businesses. For example, the KCPD will soon offer a free program where businesses can invite officers to assess their security, such as lighting, locks, and cameras.
“Officer McCall and I want to meet South KC business owners to hear their concerns, answer questions, and find ways to collaborate,” said Whitehead. “Together, we have an opportunity to impact people’s lives but we need everyone’s support to make it possible.”
When you see Officer Whitehead, please give him a warm Martin City welcome! He’s happy to answer questions, hear concerns, or provide resources, so please feel free to reach out to him at [email protected].