PARKER, Colo. (CBS4) – Police say they’ve seen an increase in reports since Jessica Ridgeway disappeared Oct. 5. Her body was found days later in an open space park in Arvada.
Westminster police have received thousands of tips in the hunt for her killer. It’s likely Ridgeway disappeared on her way to school, and that has prompted communities all along the Front Range to take steps to protect their children.
A Parker parent, Kaile Hilliard, is now working with her police department on a program called S.O.K., which stands for “Stand Outside for our Kids.” The concept is simple — those who happen to be home are asked to take a step outside and put their eyes on the children walking to and from school. Also look out for potential suspicious activity.
“I want every creep out there who thinks they’re going to do anything to our kids to know that somebody is watching them,” Hilliard said. “Maybe the retired folks and stay-at-home moms to just stand out when kids are walking to and from school on their block; not necessarily watching the kids, but watching what’s going on.”
“We want the nosy neighbors and we want these people keeping an eye on our children in our town, in our community,” Dawn Cashman with Parker police said.
Parker police encourage adults to examine everybody in the neighborhood and to make eye contact with unknown people in cars. They say most attempted abductions use vehicles. Plus it allows a person to give a more detailed description to police.
In Arvada, Pamona High School junior Alex Greon has enlisted 50 teens called Jessica’s Angels to be an escort service for elementary students.
“The kids in the purple shirts are the ones they can trust,” Greon said.
Greon will be meeting the Jefferson County School Board this week to work out the details.