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Recent break-in did not deter Ruskin Heights neighborhood residents from family event Tuesday night

South KC ice cream event with KCPD
Posted at 10:33 PM, May 28, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Paul’s Drive In has served ice cream cones and hamburgers in Kansas City since the 1960’s.

A Ruskin Heights neighborhood gathering Tuesday night at Paul’s had been scheduled for months.

The gathering would be a chance for people to meet Kansas City, Mo., police officers and commanders from the South Patrol station and get a free ice cream cone.

“They are always seeing the individuals that I come in with and now we are familiar faces," said Aaliyah Cahill, who works in south Kansas City. "We can greet each other and have that interaction and that I feel comfortable enough to even talk to law enforcement.”

When a break-in happened at Paul’s two days ago, Amanda Fulbright, the owner, never even talked about canceling Tuesday's event.

Fulbright said three men broke into Paul’s and spent 30 minutes trying to break into the restaurant's ATM.

“It’s unavailable and that’s unfortunate," Fulbright said. "We added that when we came in to give people the ability to get some cash in the neighborhood. There’s not a lot of ATM's down here.”

Ruskin Heights neighbors are difficult to keep down.

“You can still be resilient and we can still come together to make things better for our community as long as we stick together,” said Candis Francis, who lives in the neighborhood.

Francis wants to see Ruskin Heights residents succeed.

“We want it to be as safe as possible because we are growing our children and our family,” she said. “I wanted to come to bring her and expose my daughter to a different idea of what police officers stand for. I think growing up in a community, you want your kids to know they are doing the right thing. I never wanted my kids to be afraid of police officers, but to love and appreciate what they do for our community.”

Cahill said she knows it will a challenge, but she's willing to take the time to bring people together.

“I do understand both sides of how maybe a particular community views police and that police may not understand them,” said Cahill. “I just know it’s going to take time. It’s hard to put our trust into each other, so I want them to know it’s going to gradually take time.”

And having a chat over a cone becomes an opportunity for service.

“I really try to help this neighborhood stay together because that’s what keeps small businesses going and that’s what we want to be a part of,” Fulbright said.