Raashid Brown and his career is unlike any other. In 2002, at the age of 14, Raashid started working at Worlds of Fun at his first-ever job as a cashier at Norma's funnel cakes.
It was almost expected for Raashid to work at the park he explains, “You know ironically, my entire family has worked at Worlds of Fun, at some point.”
From the very first day at the park, Raashid was ready to leave a lasting impression.
“My mother made sure that I took the interview process seriously,” Brown said. “I had no idea what to expect for my first interview. Much to my surprise, when I arrived for my interview I stood out as the only applicant wearing a suit. I guess mom wanted to make sure I was going to get a job.”
This eager-to-work mentality carried through for him. At 15, during a re-hire party, he was approached by the Worlds of Fun security director.
He was shocked Raashid was only 15 and told him that he would hire him on with the security department once he turned 18.
Raashid working as a Worlds of Fun Park Ranger, in 2006.
After a few seasons with Worlds of Fun security, the security director at the time, Hugh Mills, asked Raashid if he would be interested in becoming a law enforcement officer. In 2009, he left Worlds of Fun to begin his law enforcement career. Brown began his career with the Jackson County, MO Sheriff’s Office. As a Deputy, Brown was a part of the patrol unit, the DWI Traffic Safety Force, and earned numerous awards and recognitions. Brown worked as an officer for four years with the Jackson County Sheriff’s office, when he decided he wanted to try working in a larger city.
In 2013, Brown joined the Dallas Police Department in Texas. Raashid shares that Dallas Police Department introduced him to community policing. “The Dallas Police Department is a progressive department, nationally recognized for its community engagement. The training and community engagement at Dallas PD exposed me to a better way of serving the community while protecting and serving.”
After a memorable five years on the force with Dallas PD, Raashid got an unexpected phone call from his former department, the Jackson County Sheriff’s office.
“A leader at the Sheriff’s Office reached out to me after reviewing my social media pages,” Brown said. “He stated he had been watching my career in Dallas and loved seeing my community involvement while wearing the uniform.”
That conversation led to Raashid moving back to Kansas City, MO a few weeks later to become the Public Information Officer for the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. As the PIO, Raashid assisted with increasing community engagement through social media and community events for the Sheriff’s Office.
It was in August 2019, almost a year ago, when Raashid accepted a job as Worlds of Fun’s Security Manager. He had come full circle in his career. In his words, “everything worked out perfect.”
“Life is such an exciting but interesting journey filled with many opportunities. I never would have thought that my experiences and opportunities would have led me back to Worlds of Fun, without the suit and tie.”
Raashid Brown hanging out with Charlie Brown, in 2020.
Seize the opportunity
Working in law enforcement has its challenges, especially in 2020 where police brutality and racism are receiving continued national attention.
Brown explains, “The last five years have been the most challenging I've ever experienced in my career, because it's difficult to be an African American male and look at the complexities on CNN and Fox News, with black men being targeted. The counter of that, is me surviving an incident where a gentleman felt police were targeting African Americans, so he drove through Kansas City to Dallas, to target law enforcement, and I was five blocks away from my life being taken.”
Raashid started wondering what he could do to be a catalyst for change as it relates to police reform.
“This is a question my mom always asks me too, and I do think, with the climate of the country, it is time for reform in a great way. Everything changes, everything evolves,” Brown said. “And in my prayer time, it led me to come back here, to Worlds of Fun. We develop so many young officers that go on to start their careers. What better way to have a part in reformation than to train them early on and give them exposure to positive community engagement.”
Raashid feels his job at Worlds of Fun is more important than ever. Where many young security employees are experiencing their first job in the field, he feels the park gives kids the best opportunity for growth and diverse experiences.
“Worlds of Fun Security affords our ambassadors with the unique opportunity to engage with all segments of the community while enhancing and learning new skill sets that will ultimately contribute to their future success. Worlds of Fun Security has and continues to develop ambassadors, who often leave here to begin a successful career in either law enforcement or some form of community/public service. I, along with so many others, believe that the employment experience at Worlds of Fun prepares and cultivates professional leaders,” Brown said.
If there is one-word Raashid equates most with Worlds of Fun, it would be an opportunity.
The opportunity Raashid was given as an inexperienced 14-year-old, he hopes to give to his employees. Through leadership, professionalism, and a focus on written and verbal communication, the Worlds of Fun Security department is the first step in the right direction for many young officers.
“I pride myself and this department on investing in the leadership abilities of all our security ambassadors. From my own experience, I know the opportunities here will lead to a better future for them if the employment experience focuses on not only where they are now but where they will be,” Brown said.
Now 32, Raashid has already made a lasting impact at the park and in the community. Worlds of Fun looks forward to seeing what else he accomplishes in the future!
If you or someone you know is interested in working at Worlds of Fun, consider the possibilities and the growth you can achieve.
While Raashid isn’t at the park, you can find him writing. He’s already written two self-help books and is working on a third, a law enforcement devotional.