Community & CultureSports Partnerships
Apr 2, 2024
7 Minute Read

2024 Blue KC Answering the Call Honoree Katarina DeSchepper – month of April

Blue KC and the Kansas City Royals have announced North Kansas City Police Department Community Interaction Officer Kat DeSchepper as the Blue KC Answering the Call honoree for April. 

The April recipient of the Blue KC Answering the Call award, sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, is “Officer Kat,” Katarina DeSchepper, a community interaction officer with the North Kansas City Police Department.  “Officer Kat” was honored at the Royals game on April 5.

Officer Kat has spent her entire career “humanizing the badge.” With that in mind, she takes her department ATV to local schools and lets the kids climb on the ATV. Her goal is to show the kids that she’s human, and being a police officer can be fun. She also recently started coaching Little League Soccer. By letting the kids see the “human behind the badge,” they have learned that she’s the same person when she’s out of uniform as she is when she’s in uniform.

Officer Kat describes her duties as, “reaching out to the community, including local faith-based organizations, through events to build relationships with them.” One of her primary initiatives is reaching out to juveniles, because a lot of juveniles may be afraid of police officers. She tries to make sure that juveniles can trust her. Her goal is to change their perception of law enforcement.

That focus on helping young people played out when she was part of the NKCPD deployment to the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl parade. She was several blocks away from Union Station when the “shots fired” call went out over the police radio at the end of the celebration, but she immediately raced toward the scene.

When she got to Union Station, she found a significant number of kids in panic mode, and her instincts drove her to help those kids remain calm, including helping many of them reunite with their parents.

Interestingly, she instructs “Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events” courses for local businesses. She said her experience at the parade has impacted those classes.

“When I do active shooter training, I don’t just read the presentation,” she said. “I tweak it to the business itself. I also like to use real-world examples. I want to communicate with them. I want them to know that this is real, and we need to sit down and have a conversation so they are prepared. The Super Bowl parade shooting is something that I started including in my presentations, because it happened in this community.”

Officer Kat (middle in white jersey) was recognized on April 5, 2024 at the Royals vs. White Sox game. (Photo by Amy Kontras/ Kansas City Royals)

While a big part of her job is helping young people develop a better rapport with law enforcement, she is not just striving to help young people. She’s also helping fellow first-responders and former military personnel deal with the stress of the job through The Battle Within.  She’s a mentor in the program, helping participants learn how to process situations that are unique to those jobs that people who haven’t experienced find hard to understand.

“Officer Kat” went through The Battle Within after multiple critical incidents in her own career, including when fellow NKC police officer Daniel Vasquez was killed during a random traffic stop. “I felt like it was really important to donate my time to other first responders and military personnel,” she said. “If I can save one person’s life by being involved in theirs, that’s worth it to me.”

Blue KC and the Royals salute “Officer Kat” for her commitment to bettering the lives of all Kansas Citians! For more information on this program, please click here!

Blue KC supports the Kansas City community through impactful sports partnership programs.

Blue KC Answering the Call Program

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