Plans to move state parole office next to daycare creates controversy

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A group of parents is upset over plans to put a state parole office next to their children's child care center.

This is not the first time parents have tried to prevent an undesirable neighbor from moving in.

Parents objected when a halfway house set up shop across the street from the day care several years ago. Fortunately, having the kids in close proximity to recovering substance abusers didn't last long.

Now, parents don't like the idea of having convicted felons walking up and down the street in front of the Pandarama Preschool to get to a Kansas parole office being proposed next door.

Thursday night, Unified Government commissioners unanimously approved a resolution in opposition to the state's plans to move the parole office to the corner of 7th and State Avenue.

State officials claim there will be security measures put in place at the new site.

But parents told FOX 4 News it doesn't make sense for convicted felons to be right next to young children.

"That's too close to these kids," said Darryl Ford, one of the parents. "This has been here for a long time. To have that around here just kind of worries me."

KCK police headquarters is only a block away. But that's not close enough for many of the adults at the preschool, who say their worst fear is that paroled child molester could be enticed by young children while visiting a parole officer.

Pandarama has been downtown for more than 20 years. Parents say it's one of the few good child care options for those who live in the northeast section of the city.

City leaders claim they were blindsided by the state's plans to relocate the parole office. The UG resolution seeks increased communication between the state and the Unified Government.

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