Briefly Noted: Overland Park to lower flags in honor of Officer Freddie Castro

Freddie Castro

Gov. Laura Kelly ordered the city of Overland Park to lower its flags on Sept. 8 in honor of Officer Freddie Castro who died on Aug. 31 from COVID-19. File photo.

Overland Park to lower flags in honor of Officer Freddie Castro

Governor Laura Kelly ordered the city of Overland Park to lower its flags to half-staff on Sept. 8 in honor of Officer Freddie Castro, according to a Tuesday press release.

Castro, a 23-year-old who joined the Overland Park Police Department in March 2019, died from COVID-19 complications on Aug. 31 — after being on a ventilator for 35 days. Kelly offered her condolences to Castro’s family and friends, as well as the entire Overland Park community, in the press release.

“We owe Officer Castro a great debt of gratitude for his commitment to his community,” Kelly said. “He will be missed.”

There is also a funeral procession for Castro on Sept. 8. Those interested in participating are invited to line streets during the processions, which will travel as follows, Fox 4 News reports:

  • North on Nall Avenue from W. 143rd Street to College Avenue.
  • The procession will turn west onto College toward Metcalf Avenue.

Shawnee Mission Suicide Awareness week to focus on resources, prevention

Shawnee Mission’s Suicide Awareness week is from Sept. 6 to Sept. 10, and is focusing on “sharing resources and helping community members take action in order to prevent suicide,” according to a press release.

Mental health professionals will work on awareness and prevention, according to the release. There are also activities individual school buildings have created for students to partake in.

John McKinney, director of student and family services, said in the release that emphasizing that mental health is just as important as physical health is key.

“There is nothing more important than the safety of our students,” McKinney said in the release. “To ensure their safety and wellbeing, we must empower them with skills, strategies and the resources necessary to preserve through tough times and situations. We also want them to know how to access mental health support when needed.”