KANSAS CITY, Kan. — This month FOX4 is recognizing four beautiful women who are the finalists for this year’s Remarkable Women contest.
Every Tuesday this month, we’ll introduce you to the amazing women who are making a difference in our communities.
Our first finalist is a detective with the Kansas City Kansas Police Department.
She has respectively earned the name “Detective Mom” as Detective Elaine Moore is Kansas City, Kansas’ finest.
She is the example of what it means to protect and serve, and she lets nothing interfere with what’s in her heart — to help young people.
Detective Moore has been doing what she does best for nearly 30 years.
“I started, of course, as patrol, and then I started doing recruiting for the police department,” Moore said.
A move to community policing helped her discover a greater purpose.
“I started a pantry where they could get coats, where we could do their laundry,” Moore said.
She said students were bullied and fighting because they were dirty, and a lot of it had to do with the parents at home who were struggling to make ends meet.
“I wasn’t mad at the kids, I wasn’t mad at the parents. I just said, ‘we’ll just start a pantry,'” she recalled.
Her commitment to change lives in her community stacks up high. She’s created toiletry and food pantries at schools, initiated drive-bys that consist of handing out hot meals.
She’s orchestrated fundraisers to make sure every child has a Christmas, and organized Santa missions—giving out cash to random strangers during the holidays.
“If you don’t have anything for 11 months, that 12th month means something because somebody cares,” she said.
For Detective Moore, the job is not about criminals; it’s about compassion.
“How do you change it if you don’t know what’s going on in their household? You can’t, and that’s what we are missing,” she said.
She says giving a “hand up” versus handcuffs does make a difference.
“I don’t have not one that hasn’t done good. I have one now that’s actually in the police academy,” Moore said.
It’s why she’s fighting for kids every weeknight at the Police Athletic League.
“We have boxing, art, we do the garden. We do a lot of fundraisers, and all of our money goes towards the kids,” Moore said.
An old church building on North 5th Street has been converted into a safe haven for young people to stay off the streets and connect with officers.
“She means the world to me. She’s like another mother to me,” PAL participant Jackelyn Garcia said.
For Moore, the space is a sanctuary where kinds can find peace.
“When I came in here, I was nervous, I had no clue, I didn’t know where to start,” Garcia said.
“She was the first person I spoke to, and she made me feel like I was at home. She made me feel comfortable and safe. That feeling nothing can replace that feeling.”
Community dinners, homework assistance, tutoring and computer stations are all available. Kids and parents have access to food, toiletries, and household supplies, and it’s all free.
“I have to. What else would the kids do? If that’s taken away from them and they don’t know where to go, and the parents don’t have anywhere to go,” Moore said.
Badge or not, Moore won’t stop community policing.
“I refuse. You refuse. I can’t. When I retire, I’m going to do community work until I just can’t do it anymore,” Moore said.
“I don’t have many role models in my life. I grew up in a place where it was only men and seeing her really inspires me,” Garcia said.
“I want to be like her. I want to be a detective. I want to be a police officer and I hope to be like her and inspire others.”
Detective Moore currently works in KCKPD’s internal affairs division.
She works to raise money to provide toiletries, food, and supplies for families. She says if she doesn’t have what a family needs, she’s going to find it, because if it’s important to them—it’s important to her.