"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

Reaching into the Community - Community Events

 

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Department Volunteers Step Forward for Causes

Since 1998, members of the Leawood Police Department have spent time volunteering to help others in a variety of ways.

2014 Torch Run

Lighting the Way: Jordan Couturier (with torch) led a group of officers and other family members to their lunch stop at the Leawood Justice Center as part of the 2014 Special Olympics Torch Run.

Special Olympics

The Kansas Special Olympics have traditionally had a special relationship with local law enforcement officers, particularly through their Law Enforcement Torch Run event. Over the years a number of Leawood officers have pounded the pavement to raise money and carry the torch. Since 2007 the Johnson County Torch Run route has included a stop at in Leawood for lunch. Leawood officers have also traveled to Wichita for the state Special Olympics games, where they helped deliver the Johnson/Wyandotte County torch and award medals to the participants.

In addition to joining other agencies in the traditional Torch Run, Leawood Police Officers Shawn Farris and Anne Wagoner established the Pay It Forward Midnight Run in 2009. Held annually to help raise additional funds for Special Olympics, this unique 5K event, which is run along Tomahawk Creek Parkway in the dead of night, continues to draw hundreds of runners.

Leawood was a pioneer in establishing the Run With the Law event, in which local students raise pledges and then run a one-mile course with police officers. The first Kansas Run With the Law event was held in Leawood in 2010. In 2011 the Leawood event raised $2,400 and has since spread to a number of other cities.

2005 Polar Plunge

The Original Copsicles: Randy Rausch, John Freeman, Shawn Farris and Mark Chudik.

Running, however, isn't the only way department members raised funds for the Special Olympics. In February of 2005, Officers Shawn Farris, John Freeman, Mark Chudik and Randy Rausch started a new tradition by participating in the Polar Plunge. After soliciting donations, the four then joined several hundred other hearty souls in making a plunge into the frigid waters of Shawnee Mission Park's lake. Since that time the size of the "Copsicles" team has only grown. Nearly two dozen different department members have taken the plunge at least once for Special Olympics.

Members of the Leawood Police Department have also teamed up with area restaurants as Tip A Cop events, where department members work as servers and cleaning tables with all tips going to Special Olympics. In the spring of 2016, Officer Sam Day put together what he hopes will be an annual car show. The first event attracted 71 entries and raised an additional $3,000 for Special Olympics.

Multiple Sclerosis

Another group that members of the department have supported is the local Multiple Sclerosis Society. Since 1998, various department members have been involved in finding sponsorships for the MS150, a two-day, 150 mile bike ride across Missouri. Leawood riders have now raised close to $10,000 for this cause. 

Community Blood Center

The Community Blood Center each year in June conducts a "Battle for Blood" pitting metro police and fire departments, and their supporters, in a friendly contest to see who can get the most donations in a week-long period. Since 2006 Officer Randy Rausch has helped coordinate the Johnson County activities for the Battle for Blood. Starting in 2007, our involvement grew to include biannual and now quarterly stops by the center's Bloodmobile to gather donations from members of the department and other city employees.

Youth Friends

Officer Jason Ahring began mentoring in the Blue Valley School District's Youth Friend program in 1998 and was followed shortly after by several others.  The program invites adults to spend time each week with their ‘buddy,' serving as a positive role model for them. In 2002, Ahring was named one of 3 Kindest Kansas Citians by the Stop Violence Coalition after his friend, Ross, nominated him for his involvement in the program.

Disaster Relief

Leawood Officers' volunteering isn't just limited to the local or even metro area. Working in the national community, officers have twice responded to assist with recovery efforts following large scale natural disasters.

In 2005 Hurricane Katrina pounded the Gulf Coast. Six Leawood officers, Shawn Farris, Phil Goff, Jason Ahring, Shane Chambers, Dave Jennings and Robert Mahon volunteered and were dispatched in pairs to assist the Gulfport, MS, Police Department get back on their feet. In May of 2007 a tornado destroyed Greensburg, KS. Officers John Diaz, Doug Brokaw, Kirt Yoder, Chris Rues, David Winders and Jason Hudson volunteered for deployments to Greensburg to provide security during clean-up efforts. 2011 saw the deployment of Paul Day and Jerrod Wilson to assist with the efforts in Reading, KS.

While members of the department are obviously active as groups, there are still other individuals who give their time to Big Brothers/Big Sisters and other worthwhile groups throughout the area.

City of Leawood