TOPEKA -- The Topeka Police Department in conjunction with Highland Park High School will be coordinating a CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) Project at 25th & California this Thursday, March 24th from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
The CPTED Concept has been around for many years and can help reduce crime. Simply by trimming trees, cutting back shrubbery, opening line of sight and making areas more pleasant to look at can all assist in reducing crime.
This project was the idea of Topeka Police Officer Larry Gonzales, the SRO at Highland Park High School. OFC Gonzales teamed up with Highland Park High School staff and administrators who quickly recognized the potential to improve areas around the school and get students involved.
Over 70 students have volunteered time over Spring Break to assist and many have already donated countless hours preparing for this work day. Painting of plywood to be used on the abandoned houses has been completed with the assistance of Tiffany Pryor, Highland Park High School Art Teacher.
The scenery painted on the plywood consists of doors, windows, interior scenes of a house, and cartoon characters. Several local businesses have donated supplies, equipment, money, food and volunteers to help. With assistance of Code Enforcement, Topeka Police Department SRO’s, USD 501 Campus Police Officers, Highland Park staff, administrators and students, this project can serve as the measuring stick of future CPTED Projects in Topeka.
This location has been the site of many burglaries, criminal damage incidents, juveniles in possession of tobacco products and a place for students to hide out when skipping school. This project aims to reduce all of these incidents.