A thoughtful post from a renowned Kansas City area crime expert.
Here's an uplifting note for Sunday . . .
Dr. Earnest Evans: Someone Everyone in the KC-Area Should be Thankful For!!
As my faithful readers know, it is my custom at Thanksgiving to write a column about someone or some group here in the KC-area we should all be thankful for. In the past I have written columns about community activists Bobbie Flucas and Sharon Anderson, and about the groups Point Man and Birthright.
This year's person I think that we all should be thankful for is former KCPD officer Sarah Olsen. Ms. Olsen served with honor in the KCPD for several years. While in the department she worked with the department's mental health unit. The importance of such units is shown by the number of cases in the news lately involving conflicts between mentally ill people and police officers. With the pandemic having led to a major mental health crisis in America, this sort of work becomes all the more important.
In the spring of 2018 Ms. Olsen was diagnosed with ALS--popularly known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease." Being diagnosed with such a terrible disease would demoralize anyone; and no one would have blamed her if she just stayed at home feeling sorry for herself for having come down with such a cruel illness. But, Ms. Olsen is a fighter!! She had to stop being a patrol officer, but she stayed on for two years as a civilian employee of the KCPD before retiring in May 2020.
She has actively sought to raise public awareness of the disease; being interviewed on a number of news shows including the very popular show "Nightline." She has attended and spoken at a number of events intended to inform the public both about the nature of the disease and about how they can help raise the money needed to find a cure.
By her brave and resolute response to this disease Ms. Olsen has been an inspiration to countless, countless people. And, with the terrible pandemic causing so much suffering and pain right now, the world can use the example of a young woman who refuses to let a bad disease destroy her spirit.
In sum, as all of us prepare to remember what we have to be thankful for in this season of Thanksgiving, all of us should be thankful for this wonderful young woman who has set such an inspiring example of grace in the face of adversity.
Developing . . .