District looks to save thousands of dollars by preventing school break-ins

Asking for help from neighbors

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Administrators for the Kansas City Public School District hope neighbors can help save thousands of taxpayer dollars by texting them tips.

Within the last few weeks, thieves broke into two of the district’s vacant schools, taking off with copper and leaving behind thousands of dollars in damage.

“It’s just bad that the doors and windows and stuff have to be all boarded up, but that's the only way to protect it,” Brenda Thomas said, president of the Marlborough Community Coalition.

Thomas lives near the now closed Marlborough Elementary. Within the last month, thieves broke into the school. Thieves also broke into Bingham Middle School, which sits empty as well.

The district is asking neighbors like Thomas to report any suspicious activity at vacant schools via text. The tips can be reported from a cell phone through the MessageQube app. The app is free and available on iTunes and directs all messages to the district’s security officers. 

Those who don’t have the app can add “KCPS SAFETY” at (816) 213-0997 as a new contact in their cell phone to send a message directly to dispatch.

"You know, people can make a difference just one phone call, one text, one message on the app that can make a difference,” Shannon Jaax said, director for the district’s repurposing department.

So far, only a handful of people have signed up, but Thomas is spreading the word.

“It’s my school, it's the communities’ school,” she said.

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