KANSAS CITY, Kan. - In February, the Kansas Department of Corrections will move a parole office in the old Apple Market grocery store next to Pandarama Preschool in Kansas City Kansas—but the owner is not too happy about it.
"That place should not be right next door to a child care facility," Executive Director of Pandarama Schools Carolyn Sipple said.
Sipple has run the preschool near 7th and State for more than 20 years and said she doesn't want her children close to convicted felons.
"I believe in people having a second chance because God is a God of second chance, but not that close," she said.
Neighbors from the Turtle Hill community said with two facilities that serve homeless people in the area, they fear the parole office will forever change the fabric of their neighborhood.
"What's next? A blood bank, a drug treatment center, methadone clinic?" President of the Turtle Hill Community Association Scott Murray said.
According to Jeremy Barclay, a spokesperson for the Department of Corrections, the office is properly zoned to be in the space. The building will have security cameras in place to monitor the 30 felons who are expected to walk visit the office daily and the building sits across the street from police headquarters.
"I know they're zoned correctly. I know that legally they can do what they want to do here, but is it the right thing to do?" Murray said.
A large concern for residents is that some convicted sex offenders are expected to be a certain distance from schools and children. The Department of Corrections said those felons will be given an exception to visit their parole officer only. If they violate that, they risk going back to jail.