Following the death of five Dallas police officers Thursday night, the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department has taken on an unprecedented measure to increase officer safety.
For the first time in the department’s history, officers will ride together in pairs while on duty.
“The chief thought no better time to do it than now,” said officer Cameron Morgan. "I don't think there's anything that should compromise officer safety because at the end of the day we need to go home."
Morgan said he couldn’t believe what he saw Thursday night, watching the Dallas shootings unfold. He said his fellow officers are open to the new change.
"I think it should have been done a long time ago. It's a huge officer safety advantage,” said officer Patrick O’Neill.
O’Neill has been an officer for 10 years. He said he’s noticed the community reaching out in support of the police force.
"Yesterday I had two people stop. Just stop and say 'hi officer. Thank you. Which is nice to hear,” he said.
On top of sending out officers in pairs, there will also be a push to include officers in more community relations, even if it’s as simple as walking the sidewalks and stopping by local businesses more regularly.
"We are extremely community oriented now,” said Morgan.
Victor Scott and Limier Sykes were holding up signs at State and 47th in Kansas City, Kansas Saturday evening.
Their signs read, “Honk for Change,” and “Come Together, Stop the Violence.”
They were happy to see Morgan stop by just seconds after honking at the signs himself.
Scott commented on the increased community interaction from police, saying, “That would be good because then you can get in the minds of these young kids and see where their head is and see where they need help, where they need guidance."
Josh Helmuth can be reached at email@example.com