Thursday, December 30, 2010

Executive Officer Jim Weaver Retires Today After 41 Years of Faithful Service.

Today marks the last day of a long and fruitful career. Executive Officer Jim Weaver began his service with the Overland Park Police Department on September 04, 1969 and has faithfully served the citizens of Overland Park since that day. While some people tend to coast the last few months, weeks or at least the last few days before retirement, Jim Weaver has worked every day of his career up to today with the same zeal and dedication for his job. His commitment and his enthusiasm for his Department are unquestioned. Jim has been involved in some of the most difficult endeavors the Department has undertaken. He has been there for both the brightest spots and the darkest moments. It is with all sincerity that the Overland Park Police Department commends Executive Officer Jim Weaver for his dedication to the people of Overland Park, and we wish him the best in all the ventures ahead of him in retirement. On January 9, 2011 Executive Officer Jim Weaver will be inducted into the Police Departments Legacy of Excellence. Congratulations to both Jim and Barbara Weaver.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Auto Thieves Target Two "warm up" Cars This Morning

Even though it is close to 40 degrees this morning our officers have taken two reports so far of cars being stolen while they were left running. The first crime occurred in the 9600 block of Grandview at about 7:50. The second auto theft happened in the 10600 block of Mastin at 8:40.

Many area law enforcement agencies have cautioned owners/drivers about leaving their vehicles running unattended. Remember security and convenience does not go hand in hand.

Also, it is a violation of Overland Park City Ordinance to leave your vehicle running with the keys in it. The only exceptions are vehicles equipped with a remote starter system.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year's Eve Extra Police Patrol in Overland Park

The Overland Park Police Department will have an increased number of traffic patrol officers on the streets on New Year’s Eve.
To ensure the safety of all motorists, officers will be conducting a “saturation patrol” with the desire to reduce alcohol-related auto accidents and discourage impaired driving within the city.
The patrol begins at 11 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31, and continues to at least 3 a.m.
Through November of this year, 884 tickets have been issued to drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while operating a vehicle.
A court fine for driving under the influence may cost about $500. However, that single ticket may be more costly because of other non-city associated expenses including hiring an attorney, possibility of lost wages, treatment costs and increased automobile insurance due to high-risk issues.
Overland Park Municipal Court officials have estimated the expenses can be as high as $10,000.
Be smart on New Year’s Eve: Don’t drink and drive. If you must drink, designate someone to drive who will not be consuming alcohol or drugs.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Organized Retail Crime Ring Investigated

The Overland Park Police Department is investigating an organized retail theft ring based out of Belton, Missouri. The ring is stealing from numerous retailers throughout the Kansas City Metropolitan area, as well as stores in Saint Joseph and Jefferson City, Missouri. The criminal group involves many different family members, along with a few associates. The group selects merchandise from a store, some members create a distraction and others in the group walk out without paying for the items. The investigation was generated and detected by Target Investigators who brought the activity to the attention of the Overland Park Police. A search warrant was executed and thousands of dollars of merchandise was seized from a residence. The investigation is ongoing with the goal of identifying all persons involved in the crimes. Overland Park Investigators will be working with multiple law enforcement agencies and retailers to identify and charge the suspects in each and every jurisdiction where the crimes have been committed.

Fatality Accident at 91st and Nieman

Seventeen year old Travis S. McAfee of Fort Smith, Arkansas passed away on 12-25-10 as a result of the one car accident that occurred on 12-24-10 at 91st and Nieman in Overland Park, Kansas.

Travis was a rear seat passenger in the car that was southbound on Nieman. The vehicle left the roadway, hit a pole and overturned.

The accident is still under investigation.

Purse Snatcher Throws 77 Year Old Woman to the Ground

On Thursday December 23, 2010 at about 6:00 P.M., a 77 year old woman was placing groceries in her car when a man grabbed her purse from her shoulder and pulled it away from her. During the attack the woman was spun around and fell down injuring her left hand. Several shoppers came to her aid and called the police.

The suspect in this crime is described as a white male in his mid 20’s, 5’ 6” to 5’ 7”, wearing a light colored sweatshirt and white stocking hat. He left in a gold colored Mazda 4 door that was occupied by one other person.

Anyone with information on this crime is asked to call the Overland Park Police at 913-344-8750 or the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Car Stolen at Gun Point at Auto Dealership

On Wednesday, 12-22-10 two employees of an auto dealership located in the 7500 block of Shawnee Mission Parkway were moving cars in the storage lot. Suddenly they were approached by an unknown man who pointed a gun at one of the employees. This unknown man then entered one of the cars and drove off west bound on Shawnee Mission Parkway at a high rate of speed. No one was injured.

The suspect is described as a black man, 6’ 2” to 6’ 3”, dread locks, wearing a dark coat black with white stripes. He was armed with a small hand gun.

Anyone with information on this crime or the suspect is asked to call the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS or the Overland Park Police at 913-344-8750.

Results of Traffic Accident Reduction Enforcement

Yesterday, Officers from the department's Community Policing Section and Traffic Safety Unit participated in an Accident Reduction Initiative. Officers concentrated their traffic enforcement efforts on Metcalf from 75th St. to College Blvd., Antioch from 75th St. to College Blvd, and 95th St. from Nall to Nieman. A total of 247 vehicles were stopped and 332 citations were issued. Here's a summary of enforcement taken:

15 - Speeding
125 - Adult Seat Belt
1 - Child Seat
30 - Hazardous Moving
8 - Lane Change
25 - Improper Turn
10 - Red Light
4 - Driving While Suspended
59 - No Proof of insurance
55 - Other

Another Accident Reduction Initiative is planned for early next year.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Special Traffic Enforcement Effort Today

The Overland Park, Kansas Police Department will be conducting a Traffic Enforcement Saturation Patrol on Wednesday, December 22, 2010. The enforcement will take place from 7:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Officers will concentrate their efforts along West 95th Street, and the Antioch and Metcalf Avenue corridors. Officers will be focusing on all traffic violations with the intent to reduce injury auto accidents.

Officers will be specifically alert to violations of the seat belt laws, drivers who are following too closely to other vehicles, aggressive and or impaired drivers, as well as stop sign and red light infractions.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Results of Saturation Patrol on December 17, 2010

The Overland Park, Kansas Police Department conducted a DUI Saturation Patrol on Friday, December 17, 2010. The DUI Saturation Patrol was conducted with the intent to reduce alcohol related auto accidents and discourage impaired driving. This was a (Non-grant Event).

The DUI Saturation Patrol was enforced between 7:00 PM and 3:00 AM.

4 - DUI arrests
5 - Drivers tested for DUI
13 - Speeding violations
7 - Safety Belts
4 - Defective equipment
10 - Hazardous moving violations
2 - Transporting Open Containers (Alcohol)
5 - Lane change violations
1 - Other arrests
28 - Other tickets issued
31 - Total vehicles stopped

Friday, December 17, 2010

Overland Park Police Crime Analyst Melissa Powell Honored by KCMO Police

On Thursday, December 16, 2010 Overland Park Police Department Crime Analyst Supervisor Melissa Powell was recognized by the Kansas City Missouri Police Department for her involvement in a multi-year investigation of a Career Criminal and his organized theft ring. Ms. Powell became involved in this multi-jurisdictional investigation because of her knowledge and expertise in tracking cyber criminals. Ms. Powell had very specific knowledge of this particular theft ring and its tactics. Her ability to navigate through E-Bay to obtain physical evidence needed by the police investigators was exceptional, and a tremendous asset throughout this lengthy investigation.

As an end result the master mind in this case, along with his nine (9) co-conspirators, all pled guilty and received federal sentences for their criminal activity. Additionally, this case was specifically cited during testimony in the United States Congressional Hearings on Organized Theft Rings selling merchandise on the internet.

Congratulations to Crime Analyst Supervisor Melissa Powell for her knowledge, expertise and professionalism regarding this complex investigation and the successful federal prosecution of the criminals involved.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

"Move Over" Law, Highway Safety for Law Enforcement Officers and Construction Workers

Are you aware Kansas has a "Move Over"law? If not, you are not alone. Surveys have shown that many people have not heard of the "Move Over" law for motorists. All but a few states have relatively new laws in effect which require motorists on four-lane highways to slow down and move away from emergency vehicles displaying flashing lights. Did you know the law also applies to vehicles engaged in highway construction or maintenance, and they are displaying a flashing amber light? When passing a stopped emergency or law-enforcement vehicle with its flashing lights on, you must either vacate the closest lane, or significantly reduce your speed. The "Move Over" Law was enacted following the deaths of two KDOT maintenance workers, who were killed in traffic incidents in 2005. If you have not already done so, please make a habit of "moving over" when approaching an emergency or construction vehicle on the side of the road. It could be a matter of life or death.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Grab and Run Thieves Take $3,000 in Clothes

On Monday December 6, 2010 Overland Park Officers were called to the Oak Park Mall Macy’s store regarding a “grab and run” theft that had just occurred. Upon arrive of the Overland Park Police Officers, Macy’s loss prevention personnel told the Police Officers a group of four people (three men and one female) had picked up a large quantity of clothing and run out of the store to an awaiting getaway car. The total loss is approximately $3,000.00 in Polo and other name brand clothing. This group is believed to have committed the same types of crimes at other Macy’s stores.

The suspects are described as three black males, and one Hispanic or Black female. The getaway car is a dark blue or black Chevrolet Tahoe or similar SUV with Missouri license plates.

Anyone with information on the suspects or the crime is asked to call the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS or the Overland Park Police at 913-344-8750.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

10 Tips to Prevent Car Accidents

1. If impaired by alcohol or drugs, find a sober driver.
2. Avoid using your cell phone.
3. If you must eat, pull off the road.
4. Don't tailgate. Leave at least 1 car length for every 10 mph.
5. Change radio stations while stationary.
6. Never apply makeup or groom hair while moving.
7. Look twice before backing.
8. Steer with your hands; not with your legs.
9. Don't speed - not even a little bit.
10. Concentrate, Concentrate and Concentrate

Monday, December 13, 2010

Results of Friday's Safety Belt and Car Seat Enforcement Efforts

Shawnee Mission North High School
2:30 pm to 3:05 pm

7 - Seat Belt citations
3 - Other citations

Westridge Middle School
3:35 pm to 4:00 pm

5 - Seat Belt citations
1 - Stop sign citation
1 - Speeding citation
4 - Other citations

Friday, December 10, 2010

Results from 12-9-10's Special Safety Belt and Child Car Seat Enforcement

Shawnee Mission West High School
8800 W. 85th Street
7:10 am to 7:35 am

11 Seat Belt citations
1 Driving While Suspended citation
2 Other citations

Dorothy Moody Elementary
10101 England Drive
7:45 am to 8:15 am

4 Seat Belt citations
2 Child Seat citations
1 Driving While Suspended citation
1 Warrant Arrest
1 Other citation

Blue Valley West High School
16200 Antioch
2:30 pm to 3:00 pm

3 Seat Belt citations
2 Speeding citations
2 Improper Turn citations
1 Other citation

Cedar Hills Elementary
9100 W. 165th Street
3:30 pm to 4:00 pm
3 Seat Belt citations
1 Speeding citation

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Scrap Metal Thieves Caught in the Act

Over the past several weeks an automotive repair shop on Merriam Lane in the north part of Overland Park has been the victim of Scrap Metal Thieves. This business has been “hit” three times and the value of the material stolen is over $2,000.00. The thefts have occurred in the very late evening and over midnight hours.

Further Investigation into the crimes resulted in surveillance photos of a possible suspect vehicle. The photos were then distributed to our patrol officers. Officers on the midnight shift were able to “deploy” to the area during the overnight hours and were successful in catching the father and son team who committed the crimes. As a result the two will be charged with Felony Theft through the Johnson County District Court.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Special Safety Belt and Child Car Seat Enforcement

On Thursday, December 9, 2010, Traffic Safety Officers will be conducting seat belt and child car seat enforcement at the following locations:

Shawnee Mission West High School
8800 W. 85th Street
7:10 am to 7:35 am

Dorothy Moody Elementary
10101 England Drive
7:45 am to 8:15 am

Blue Valley West High School
16200 Antioch
2:30 pm to 3:00 pm

Cedar Hills Elementary
9100 W. 165th Street
3:30 pm to 4:00 pm

KSA 8-1343 requires all children under the age of 4 to be in a federally approved child safety seat. Children ages 4 to 8 years must be in a federally approved child safety seat/booster seat UNLESS the child weighs more than 80 lbs OR is taller than 4' 9". Children 8 years of age but under 14 must be protected by a safety belt.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Two Home Burglars Arrested Moments after Their Crime

On Saturday December 4, 2010 at 11:15 p.m., Officers were called to the 15700 block of Outlook in regard to a home burglary in progress. The person who called the police was inside the residence and heard the suspects actually making entry into the house by way of the back door. A description of a car thought to be involved in the crime was broadcast and one of the officers who responded to the call found the car as it was driving from the neighborhood. It was confirmed an Aggravated Burglary occurred using a pry tool to make entry to the house. The officer who stopped the car began to question its two occupants. Eventually enough probable cause existed to arrest the two. A seventeen year old and an eighteen year old were taken into custody with the initial charges of Aggravated Burglary and Criminal Damage to Property. The eighteen year old was booked into the Johnson County Adult Detention Center and the seventeen year old was taken to the Juvenile Detention Center.

Thanks to the quick reporting by the home owner and the officer’s alertness as to the car description these two were caught and a serious felony crime solved.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Heat Is On In Overland Park

The Overland Park Police Department Vice Unit is committed to making Overland Park an undesirable location for prostitution. To that end, the Vice Unit has partnered with other units within the Police Department, area law enforcement agencies, as well as hotel and apartment community management. We don’t just go after prostituted persons. We also target those who promote prostitution and those who patronize prostituted persons.

Recent operations have resulted in more than ten arrests of persons for violations directly related to prostitution. Information is coming back to us that the word is out - the heat is on in Overland Park.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Police, SM School District and YMCA Involved in After School Program for Westridge Middle School

Since the start of the school year, the Westridge Middle School Administration and School Resource Officer have been working with the YMCA to start up youth activities at the Middle School level. At this time, middle schools do not offer many after school activities. It is projected by February 2011, the few activities available will no longer be offered due to budget constraints. Currently, Westridge funds late buses three days a week. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the school provides four teachers to stay after school for tutoring. On average, 50-60 kids stay after school to receive extra help with their homework. On Wednesdays, one sport activity is offered along with a couple of small "club" groups. YMCA offered to provide an additional late bus on Mondays and to supplement four additional teachers on Mondays and Wednesdays for extra tutoring assistance. This would provide after school tutoring four days a week rather than two. It would also provide late buses four days a week instead of three. It was decided to start with one sport and one "skill" activity after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. These activities would run from 4:00pm to 5:45pm. Students who need to take the late bus would be able to leave at 4:45pm. For those students able to make other arrangements they would be allowed to stay until 5:45pm for the full session, when a parent may be able to pick them up. Based on the results of a student survey, indoor soccer and cooking were the most popular activities. In order to make the sporting activities feel like a "real" league to the kids, YMCA will be looking for a primary coach to be available for each of the Tuesday and Thursday sessions with volunteers to supplement the coach. Ideally, the ratio would be at least 1 adult supervisor per 12-15 kids.

The Police Department is in discussion on how to be involved in the program. One suggestion is to have an officer present on Tuesdays and Thursdays until 5:45pm to interact with the students in a community relations role. The goal is to begin this program early next year. As the program progresses, a wider selection of activities may be offered. In addition, perhaps other middle schools may offer this program to their students.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving Special Traffic Enforcement Results

The Overland Park, Kansas Police Department conducted a Thanksgiving Mobilization S.T.E.P. (Special Traffic Enforcement Program) Campaign from November 22, 2010 through November 28, 2010. The campaign was conducted with the principle focus on DUI/Restraint violations. Officers also looked for child passenger seat violations, speeding, and other alcohol related arrests in an effort to reduce alcohol related auto accidents.

165.75- Hours worked
281 - Vehicles stopped
53 - Speeding violations
170 - Seat belts (18+)
6 - Safety Belts (14-17)
3 - Safety Belts (8-13)
5 - Booster Seats (4-7)
3 - Child Seats (0-3)
58 - Hazardous Moving
80 - Other Violations
6 - DUI Arrests
1 - TOC Arrest (transporting open container)
7 - Warrant Arrests
3 - Other Arrest

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Spiderman" Makes an Appearance in Overland Park

On Friday night November 27, 2010 at about 7:30 PM, a woman was driving in the area of West 144th Street and Stearns when she noticed tape strung across the street. When she got out of her car to investigate, she was approached by a man wearing a Spiderman costume. She said “Spiderman” offered to help her but she declined returned to her car and left the area. She called the police dispatchers when she arrived home and told them of the incident. An officer was sent to the area but did not locate "Spiderman" or his web.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Door to Door Solicitor Now in Jail After Home Burglary

On Tuesday November 16, 2010 an Overland Park couple left their home at about 6:30 pm to run errands. As they left they noticed several door to door solicitors on their street. When they returned home several hours later they discovered their home was burglarized and valuables stolen. The stolen items included cash, diamond rings, pearls and other jewelry. Some of the cash taken was unique due to its age. As part of the burglary investigation the responding police officers contacted several solicitors who were in the area and interviewed them. Later that evening an employee of a local grocery store contacted an Overland Park police officer after he received a $100.00 bill that he thought might be counterfeit. The police officer determined the bill was not counterfeit but unique because of its age. This clicked with the police officer as he remembered the older $100.00 bills that were taken in the home burglary. The officer was able to obtain the grocery store’s surveillance photo of the woman who passed the bill. This photo was placed in a “deployment slide” presentation for all our officers to review.

On November 20, 2010, police officers were dispatched to an apartment complex regarding an armed disturbance. As one of the officers arrived at the complex he noticed a van with solicitors in it and believed he recognized one of the females in the van as the person who passed the $100.00 bill at the grocery store. Other officers were called to interview the possible suspect. She was removed from the van and questioned. This woman matched the photo of the suspect from the grocery store and this allowed the officers to take the woman into custody. Detectives interviewed the woman and probable cause existed to arrest her for the residential burglary. The Detectives learned this woman and the other solicitors were from out of town and staying in a motel in Topeka, Kansas. A search warrant was obtained for the motel room. When the warrant was served at the motel additional stolen items were recovered. As a result of this investigation an 18 year old woman from Cincinnati, Ohio was arrested for Burglary.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Remembering Amy Cobb

Every police officer I know, at one time or another has been asked by someone if the violence and the suffering we see everyday bothers us. Without question, the constant exposure to tragedy and man’s inhumanity to man does, to a certain extent, change us in the way that we perceive things. I doubt that if it didn’t, we could long last in this profession. None-the-less, some things that happen leave a long-lasting impression. I have often referred to it as a scar upon our soul. For me, one such incident occurred some 32 years ago when I was a very young detective.

As I recall, it was the day before Thanksgiving and the weather was nearly identical to what it is today – cool almost cold, damp and foggy. I was getting ready to meet my wife and head out the next day to my in-law’s house in Phillipsburg, Kansas to celebrate Thanksgiving. We had a two and a half year old son at the time and I knew that his grandparents were eager to see him. About two o’clock in the afternoon, we received a call from the Detectives Division of a child fatality; a possible drowning in the bathtub. Detectives are called to investigate these incidents and as you will see, for good reason. When I got to the hospital, I was led by the five or six seasoned and hardened police officers in the Emergency Room, each with tears in their eyes as they somewhat stood guard over the limp body of this little two and half year old. It was apparent that these otherwise stoic individuals were deeply moved by the tragic death of a little girl they had never known. I was taken aback by the bruising on the child’s body, some of which was apparently recent and some of which was several weeks old. When we questioned the mother’s boyfriend, he stated that he had put her in the bathtub to give her a bath before her mother came home and that the little girl had drowned while in the tub. I knew based on my own son who was of the same age, that he would jump in and out of the bathtub with relative ease. This story just did not make sense. The cause of her death was obvious. Our investigation revealed that she had not drowned but was instead the victim of abuse at the hands of the boyfriend. Of course, there is a lot more to this story and the details would horrify any parent, but the point of my discussion centers around the perils of this occupation. For you see, I cannot recall a single Thanksgiving since that day that I have not thought of the tragedy that occurred to a little blonde hair, blue-eyed girl who I never really knew, but who left a lasting impression on me.

When we celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow, I would ask that we consider two very important things: 1) To be thankful that we are able to hold close those persons in our lives that we love and cherish as this is a true gift; 2) To be thankful for the men and women of our police departments who deal with tragedy, violence and abuse on a daily basis and deal with it effectively and compassionately; doing so without losing sight of their own humanity.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Black Friday, Holiday Shoppers and Criminal Opportunity

Just a reminder about keeping your valuables, new holiday purchases and vehicles safe and secure during this upcoming holiday shopping season. Many people will be out to take advantage of the holiday sales and services from today on. Reduce the opportunity for criminals to spoil your holiday season by being more safe and secure.

Shop with someone else! You are less likely to be the victim of a personal crime such as purse snatch or robbery. There certainly is safety in numbers.

Remember to lock your car or truck and don’t leave it running to warm up. Make your vehicle less of a crime target.

When you place your purchases in your vehicle put them in the trunk or cover them up.

While using a shopping cart avoid leaving a purse sitting in the cart unattended. If at all possible keep your money, credit cards, check book and cash in a secure pocket.

Most criminals are opportunistic and if you don’t give them the opportunity you won’t be a victim.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Special Traffic Enforcement Program

Beginning today, and continuing through November 28, 2010, OPPD officers will be participating in a Special Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) sponsored by the Kansas Department of Transportation. KDOT provides overtime funds for participating Kansas agencies. The STEP program allows for additional officers to be deployed for the purpose of conducting traffic safety. This week's special enforcement will focus on impaired drivers and seat belt violations. As part of the special enforcement, a DUI Saturation Patrol will take place on Friday, November 26, 2010, from 11:00 pm to 3:00 am.

Whether you are taking to the road this holiday season or staying close to home, please wear your seat belt and insist that your passengers do the same. If any of your passengers are under the age of 8, make sure they are using either an approved car seat or booster.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Police Officers Present Kids with Footballs, Soccer and Basketballs

On Thursday, November 18, 2010, Officers from the Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving Unit (COPPS) presented kids from the Timberland Creek Homes area with footballs, soccer and basketballs. The COPPS Officers learned from the Timberland Creek Homes Area President, Joanne Boyd, that neighborhood children were playing in a vacant lot but did not have any sports equipment to play with. Her concerns and information concerned the COPPS Officers and they wanted to do something to help. They obtained permission to purchase the needed items. At about 3:15 pm on Thursday in a vacant lot where the neighborhood kids play, the officers gave the equipment to the children.

Results of DUI Saturation Patrol November 12 and 13, 2010

Results of DUI Saturation Patrol on Friday, November 12 and into the early morning hours of Saturday November 13, 2010. This initiative was conducted with the intent to reduce alcohol related auto accidents and discourage impaired driving.

The DUI Saturation Patrol was in force between 7:00 PM and 3:00 AM.

3 DUI Arrests
6 Drivers tested for DUI
5 Speeding Violations
9 Hazardous Moving Violations
24 Other Traffic Citations Issued
1 Defective Vehicle Equipment Violation
27 Vehicles Stopped by the Saturation Officers

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Results of the Quivira Road Accident Reduction Initiative

Overland Park Officers from the Traffic Safety, the Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving, and the Tactical Operations Units participated in the initiative. The officers concentrated their efforts on nine intersections between 95th Street and 151st Street.

A total of 187 vehicles were stopped and 260 citations were issued for various violations including speeding, unsafe lane changes, improper turns, failure to signal movement, red light violations, following too closely, and failure to comply with seat belt laws.

The Department’s Traffic Safety Unit plans to conduct additional Accident Reduction Initiatives throughout Overland Park to address traffic violations which are known to be contributing factors in vehicle accidents.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bank Teller "Stealing" Scam

On November 10, 2010 a husband and wife came to the Overland Park Police Station located at 8500 Antioch to report they were almost victimized by a “bank scam.”

The couple told the police officer that earlier in the day they received a telephone call from a man representing himself as an official of their bank. The caller told the couple the bank suspected one of its tellers of stealing money and the bank needed this couple to help to catch the thief by withdrawing $25,000.00 in large bills. The caller instructed the couple to obtain the cash, return home and wait for his return call for further instructions.

The couple, thinking this was a legitimate request, went to their branch bank with the intent to get the cash. Personnel at the branch bank referred them to the main bank. At the main bank, they contacted a bank official who told them this was certainly a scam.

Thankfully, the bank was able to stop the couple from being victimized. This type of scam has been used for years and relies on individuals willing to help catch “crooked bank employee” not realizing they are the targets of a criminal themselves.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Accident Reduction Initiative on Quivira Road

On Wednesday, November 17, 2010, from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm, the Overland Park Police Department will conduct a special Accident Reduction Initiative along Quivira Road. Officers from the Traffic Safety Unit, TAC Unit and Community Policing Unit will participate. Officers specially trained to perform commercial vehicle inspections will also participate. Officers will be enforcing all traffic violations, but will pay particular attention to those violations most likely to result in a traffic accident.

95th Street
7:15 am to 8:00 am

103rd Street
8:00 am to 8:45 am

8:45 am to 9:30 am

College Blvd.
9:30 am to 10:15 am

119th Street
10:15 am to 11:00 am

127th Street
12:00 pm to 12:45 pm

135th Street
12:45 pm to 1:30 pm

151st Street
1:45 pm to 2:30 pm

Monday, November 15, 2010

Meerkat Located in Overland Park

On Friday 11-12-10 at about 5 pm Overland Park Police where dispatched to Petco at 6801 w 75 St. regarding a Meerkat dropped off in front of their store by an unknown subject. Witnesses stated a white male dressed in a hat, hoodie, and jeans walked up to the front of the store and placed a glass aquarium covered with a towel on the ground. Petco employees discovered a Meerkat contained in the aquarium and called the Police. During the investigation, the Meerkat was found to be missing from the Kansas City Zoo since last Thursday. The Meerkat was returned to the Zoo on Saturday, and further investigation is pending. Meerkats make very poor pets. They bite, and a serious bite can become infected. They have a very strong odor, and will scent-mark their owner and the house (their "territory"). Being a pack animal, they may become hysterical if kept as single pets. Since there is a health concern to anyone that may have been bit by the Meerkat, Overland Park Police is asking for your help identifying anyone that may have information on the case. To report any information regarding the Meerkat, please contact Chief Animal Control Officer Eric Thompson at 913-895-6279 or email at

Auto Burglaries While Parents Drop Off Children at Day Care Facilities

A word of caution relating to parents who take their children into Day Care Facilities and leave their cars unlocked or even running, don’t do it!

In the past auto burglars have targeted cars, vans and trucks left unlocked when parents take their children into the building and leave their purses, wallets, GPS’s, electronics and other items of value in their unlocked vehicles.

On November 10, 2010 between 5:50 and 6:00 pm someone entered an unlocked minivan while it was at a Day Care center.

These crimes have occurred in the past years not only in Overland Park but also in other metro area cities. Reduce the opportunity for crime to occur by locking your car and making sure you have your keys with you.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Officers to Conduct a DUI Saturation Patrol Tonight

Tonight, from 7:00 pm to 3:00 am, the Overland Park Police Department will conduct a DUI Saturation Patrol. A team of Traffic Safety Unit officers will hit the streets for one purpose, arresting impaired drivers. The Saturation Patrol will focus on major thoroughfares, highways and those areas which include drinking establishments. As I have mentioned in previous blogs, the Overland Park Police Department is committed to removing impaired drivers from our roadways. So far this year, 742 impaired drivers have been arrested. With the holiday season quickly approaching, additional DUI Saturations Patrols will be scheduled. Remember, if you choose to drink, please don't drive. .

Thursday, November 11, 2010

In Honor of Veterans

The Overland Park Police Department’s Honor Guard will present “The Colors” at Village Shalom today at 10:30 a.m. The Pledge of Allegiance will be recited and the National Anthem will be sung. We are all indebted to our past, present and future military personnel for their sacrifices and for maintaining our country’s freedom.

Cold Weather, Car Warm Ups and Auto Thieves

With the predicted approach of much cooler weather this Friday and over the weekend, the opportunity for car thieves to target cars and trucks left running to “warm up” increases. Each year our officers take “warm up” stolen auto reports from driveways, convenience stores and other locations throughout Overland Park It is illegal in this city to leave any vehicle unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition, and removing the key from the ignition. The only exception is a vehicle equipped with a remote starter system.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Interesting Theft Cases

Who would want to steal scrap car batteries? The answer is at least one man and most likely two of his accomplices. Since August of this year two Overland Park Wal-Marts and one Sam’s Club have been the victims of used battery thefts. The thieves cut the locks on outside storage cages and remove the batteries which can sell for about $9.00 each. So far the losses have amounted to almost $1,000.00. Two other cities have also reported similar crimes.

The suspect(s) are described as white males, between 30 and 40, and they usually wear baseball caps. The suspects were seen driving a white or silver Buick.

Anyone with information on these crimes is asked to call the Investigations Division’s 24/7 recorded telephone line at 913-344-8750.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

OP Police Assist in Production of Safety and Education Series for Kids Pre-K Through Fifth Grade

The Rainbow Valley Police Department series has been completed by Dan Taylor and is ready to roll out to audiences all over the world. More than a year ago, Dan approached the City of Overland Park, and asked for assistance from the Police Department in creating a comprehensive public safety education DVD curriculum that teaches pre-K through fifth grade children critical life safety skills delivered in a fun, non-threatening and memorable way.

Officers spent the last year conducting research and consulting on this worthwhile project, which is well-suited for the safety education professional, D.A.R.E. Officer, counselor, classroom teacher, libraries and other community programs. The series combines colorful, cutting-edge 3D animation with live action video to equip children with basic personal and community safety skills.

Formally named “Rainbow Valley Safety and Crime Prevention,” the DVD series is divided into three segments. In the Police Station Series, students learn all about the inner-workings of the police department, equipment and vehicles used to help protect and serve their community. In the Personal Safety Series, students learn how to create a safety plan providing them with necessary tools to deal with a wide variety of issues including domestic violence, internet dangers, and bike and vehicle safety. In the Community Safety Series, students learn how to make their school, neighborhood and community safer. This series deals with many topics including peer pressure, anti-drug/alcohol and bullying.

More information on this important children’s program can be found at


Monday, November 8, 2010

Night Time Robbery at ATM Machine in the 8600 block of College Boulevard

On November 4 at 9:50 p.m., a 36 year old man drove to a bank’s ATM machine to conduct a transaction. Just after he removed his card from the machine two men appeared on either side of the ATM. Both men pointed handguns and threatened the victim. One of the suspects took the cash from the ATM and the other suspect demanded the keys to the victim’s truck. The victim complied and the two ran off to the southeast from the bank. The victim was not injured.

The suspects are described as follows. Suspect number one is a white male, 25-30 years old, 6’ 0” tall, wearing a grey hoodie and not wearing a mask. He was armed with a grey colored handgun.

Suspect number two is a black male, 5’ 6” to 5’ 8” wearing black pants and jacket with a hood, and a black mask covering his face. He was armed with a black handgun.

We have not had this type of robbery at an ATM in a very long time.

Anyone with information on this crime is asked to call the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS or the Overland Park Police at 913-344-8750.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Results of October 29, 2010 DUI Saturation Patrol

Saturation Patrols are conducted with the intent to reduce alcohol related auto accidents and discourage impaired driving. This DUI Saturation Patrol was a Non-Grant funded event.

4 Drivers Tested for DUI
3 DUI Arrests
10 Speeding Violations
18 Hazardous Moving Violations
24 Other Traffic Citations Issued
2 Transporting an Open Container of Alcohol Arrests
1 Minor in Possession of Open Alcohol Container
2 Other Arrests

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Special Patrols for Impaired Drivers

Drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs pose a significant threat to the motoring public. Each year, thousands of motorists are killed in this country as a result of an impaired driver. Removing impaired drivers from our roadways is a top priority of this department. Beginning later this month and continuing through the end of the year, the Overland Park Police Department's Traffic Safety Unit will conduct several Impaired Driving Saturation Patrols. These special patrols, which consist of four officers and a supervisor, are for the sole purpose of arresting drivers who are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The officers assigned to the Saturation Patrols have significant experience in DUI apprehension. The patrols will also include officers specially trained as a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). An officer certified as a DRE has received extensive training in identifying a driver who is under the influence of prescription or illegal drugs. Saturation Patrols typically occur on weekend nights from 11:00 pm to 3:00 am, and concentrate on heavily traveled streets and highways. To report an impaired driver in Overland Park, call Police Dispatch at 648-6200 or 911.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Two Adults Arrested for "Unlawful Hosting" and "Obstructing Officers" at a Saturday Night Alcohol Party

On Saturday evening October 30, our officers received information an alcohol drinking party was being held and hosted by two adults. It was reported a large number of minors, ages 17 and 18 years old, were consuming alcohol at the party. The officers arrived at a home in the 9100 block of West 113th Street and found several youths outside of the residence. It was confirmed there were many high school age students inside the home drinking and the home owners were allowing the alcohol consumption.

Officers attempted to contact anyone inside the house but no one would answer the door. Officers did make telephone contact with persons inside the home but they would not cooperate with the officers. Based on the totality of the information available and the investigation by the officers on scene, a search warrant was requested, obtained and served. When the officers entered the home they established probable cause to arrest two adults for “Unlawful Hosting” and “Obstructing the Legal Process.” Additionally officers cited a total of 21 individuals who were 18 and younger for alcohol violations. The two adults were charged through Johnson County District Court.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thanks Dad, I Got To Vote Today

Like many of us I woke up this morning with the excitement of knowing that it was Election Day. Call me sentimental but I get a little gooey over the idea that we get to elect our leaders. Growing up in this country this seems like old hat. But we should never lose sight of the fact of what a miraculous gift this truly is. In many countries,true democracy is an absolute foreign concept. Some make a pretense out of holding fair elections but it is little more than going through the motions. In this country, in spite of all the contentious politics, the loud and sometimes offensive rhetoric and the push-pull of an imperfect system, our democracy is alive and well and our ability to cast our vote is a privilege. This privilege, however, did not come free. Men and women from the Revolutionary War to those serving today have sacrificed everything so people like you and I could live in a country free of fear for disagreeing with our Government and free to elect our own leaders. My own father, as well as my uncles and virtually everyone they knew, enlisted in the armed services during WWII. I would bet that many of you reading this have had relatives who did the same. Many of you may have served and to those of you who did, please accept my heartfelt gratitude. It has been a good day today because I started out by getting to vote and that is a big deal.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Efforts in the North End – Phase II

As I mentioned in this blog before, Overland Park is a City that is maturing and in some instances, showing some wear and tear in parts of our City. I have also mentioned that it is imperative that the City respond to these neighborhood changes in a variety of ways. While the neighborhoods are still safe and viable, it is important that we do all that we can to keep them that way. You have heard of the Police initiatives in these areas. I also would like to inform you of our other major partner in the City – the Codes folks. Community Development has been an integral part of all of our efforts to-date. They have been a full and complete partner bringing their resources to bear along with those of Public Safety. This Wednesday night at the Community Development Meeting, they will unveil to the City Council their plan for code and ordinance enforcement throughout the City and specifically in the areas we have identified. None of us can do it alone, but I can assure you that all of the resources of the City, from the Council on down, are focused on ensuring our neighborhoods remain the best places to live.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Lieutenant Colonel Stephen E. Smith Retires Today After 37 Years of Faithful Service

Today marks the last day of a long and fruitful career. LTC Steven Smith began his service with the Overland Park Police Department on December 31, 1973 and has faithfully served the citizens of Overland Park to the very last minute. While some people tend to coast the last few months, weeks or at least days prior to their retirement, Steve Smith has worked every day of his career up to and including yesterday, with the same zeal and dedication for the job. His commitment and his desire are unquestioned. Steve has been involved in some of the most difficult, prestigious endeavors the Department has undertaken and has been there for both the brightest spots and the darkest moments. It is with all sincerity that the Overland Park Police Department commends LTC Steven Smith for his dedication to the people of Overland Park and we wish for him continued success in whatever ventures retirement takes him. Congratulations to both Steve and Gloria Smith.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Overland Park Animal Control Supervisor Assists Douglas County Sheriff with "wild" Horse Capture

The Douglass County Kansas Sheriff’s Office in Lawrence, Kansas contacted Overland Park Animal Control Supervisor Eric Thompson regarding a “wild” horse rescue and capture. Apparently this horse has been on its own in western Douglas County for 26 years. It had never been handled or treated for hoof or teeth problems. It was obvious the horse was suffering.

Recently it was wondering near 40 highway and therefore a potential for a horse vs. car accident. A local horse rescue group had been attempting to capture the animal for several months without success. On Tuesday October 26, Eric Thompson and personnel from Douglas County Sheriff’s Office along with members of the local Humane Society located the horse. It was eventually sedated via dart gun. An examination and evaluation was completed by a veterinarian. Due to significant health, injury, and stress factors the horse was euthanized to end the animals suffering.

Animal Control Supervisor Thompson is skilled in large animal capture and rescue. He conducts training for various animal welfare organizations and law enforcement agencies.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

High Visibility Traffic Enforcement

College and Antioch
Wednesday, October 27, 2010 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Focus: Aggressive driving, speeding and red light violations

AUTO BURGLARIES: A word of caution. Our officers are responding to two locations this morning regarding several cars being burglarized. One area is 89th Street and Outlook. The other is in 10200 block of Garnett. Please do not leave valuables in your cars, it simply creates an opportunity for crimes to occur.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

OP Police Explorers Participate in Multi-Agency Explorer Challenge

On 10-23-10, the Overland Park Police Department Explorer Post participated in a Multi-Agency Explorer Challenge. Those agencies involved in the event were the Overland Park Police Department, Johnson County Sheriff's Office, Spring Hill Police Department and Johnson County Fire District One. The event took place at various locations around New Century Airport. The explorers participated in a mock injury accident investigation, perimeter control, crime scene investigation, car fire investigation, water rescue, a hostage negotiation and a trauma scene where a medical helicopter responded. The objective of the Explorer Post is to provide teenagers and young adults a better understanding of Law Enforcement. This challenge gave the explorers the opportunity to participate in real-life scenarios and to gain first hand experience on the daily activities of law enforcement.

The Overland Park Police Department Explorer Post currently has 16 active members. Eight of those explorers took part in the Multi-Agency Challenge. The following are the qualifications to become an Explorer:

1. Must be 14 years of age, and graduated the 8th grade, through 20 years of age
2. Have and maintain a 2.0 grade point average or higher
3. Have no misdemeanor convictions (including alcohol) in the last year
4. Have no felony convictions
5. Have a current and valid driver's license
6. Cannot be on diversion or probation.
Those who are interested in becoming an explorer will be required to complete an application and pay a minimal fee. Overland Park residency is not required to participate. Tthe Explorer program meets the first and third Thursday of every month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. If you have questions or know someone who is interested in becoming an Explorer please contact Sgt. Melanie L. Pierce at 913.535.3041.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bloody Foot "Investigation"

On Thursday October 21, 2010 just before 2:00 p.m., an officer was dispatched to the area of 121 st Street and Metcalf on suspicious activity call. The officer was informed by the police dispatchers a motorist saw a bloody foot hanging from the trunk of a car.

The investigating officer contacted the citizen who saw and reported the incident. This person told the officer she was sure the foot was part of a child’s severed leg. She described the vehicle and provided the car’s license plate number. A vehicle registration check was made and the officer went to the registered owner’s home but could not locate anyone immediately. Later that afternoon another officer returned to the house and made contact with the car’s owner. This officer immediately determined the “severed foot” was a Halloween decoration. Just another example of the calls for service officers receive and must be investigated.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Investigation at I-435 and Metcalf Motel Results in Several Arrests

On October 20, 2010 officers and detectives were conducting a follow-up investigation at a motel in the area of I-435 and Metcalf. In the parking lot of the motel they located a stolen vehicle from Leawood, Kansas. Surveillance was begun on the car and a suspicious man was seen near the vehicle. He was contacted and questioned by the investigators. It was determined he was not involved in the stolen car but was found to be in possession of narcotics. He was arrested.

Then officers began contacting residents of the motel and learned a woman who was seen driving the stolen vehicle was staying in a nearby room. Surveillance resumed and two women were contacted as they exited the room in question. Investigators questioned the two and determined they were responsible for stealing not only this car but several others. A search warrant was obtained for the motel room. When it was served, the Investigators discovered and recovered property which is believed to have been stolen in auto burglaries in Overland Park and neighboring cities. Both women were arrested and taken to the Johnson County Adult Detention Center awaiting formal charges related to auto theft. The Investigation continues regarding the auto burglaries crimes.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Anti-Fraud and Theft Initiative at Oak Park Mall and Other Retailers

Financial Crime Detectives are providing training to retail store personnel so they are aware of and, better prepared to prevent crimes in their stores. Since Oak Park Mall is the largest retail complex in Overland Park the Detectives concentrate there, but the anti-crime information and programs are available to all businesses throughout Overland Park.

Additionally, officers continue to be in the Mall for enforcement against all categories of crimes. In the past 10 days officers have made 20 arrests on Mall property.

With the approach of Halloween, Thanksgiving and the Christmas Holidays the Mall and other retailers experience greater numbers of shoppers and therefore the opportunity for criminal activity. Awareness and preparedness will certainly help detect and deter crime.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

High Visibility Traffic Enforcement

151st and 69 Highway
Wednesday, October 20, 2010 11:00 am to 12:30 pm
4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Focus: Aggressive driving, speeding and red light violations

151st and Metcalf
Friday, October 22, 2010 8:00 am to 9:00 am
4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Focus: Aggressive driving, speeding and red light violations

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Road Rage Incident Involving a Gun Results in Arrest of Three Juveniles for Multiple Crimes

On Saturday October 16, 2010, at approximately 3:00 p.m. officers received a report from an Over the Road Truck Driver that a car was driving in a reckless manner on I-435 near US 69 highway. The truck driver described the car and said one of the passengers held a handgun out the window of the car. An officer was in the general area of the incident and learned from a supervisor the suspect vehicle was headed north on Quivira from I-435. Additional officers responded and located the distinctive car in the parking lot of Oak Park Mall but it was unoccupied. They waited until several of the passengers returned and began their investigation. All of the suspects were uncooperative and provided false information to the officers. One of the individuals assaulted two of the officers. No officer was injured.

The investigation terminated with the arrest of three juveniles, 17, 16 and 15 years old for possession of Stolen Property, Battery of a Law Enforcement Officer, and Criminal Possession of a Firearm, Disorderly Conduct and Felony Obstruction of the Legal Process. All were taken to the Juvenile Intake and Assessment Center.

Monday, October 18, 2010

22 Year Old Man Dies in Motorcycle Accident

At 2:45 a.m. on October 17, 2010, Officers were dispatched to a vehicle accident on southbound US 69 near 151st Street. When the Officers arrived it was determined this was a fatality accident involving one motorcycle and its driver. Medical personnel arrived at the scene, and confirmed the motorcycle driver died due to injuries sustained in the crash. The driver of the motorcycle was Darren K. Wynn of Shawnee, Kansas. Initial investigation determined speed was a contributing factor in the accident.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Extensive Loss in Commercial AC Theft

On Monday October 11, 2010 Overland Park Officers received a theft report from a construction site in the 10100 block of Metcalf. The officers spoke to the construction manager and determined three large air conditioning units had been removed. The units, an American Standard, a Lennox and a Goodman, were in place but not connected to the building. This equipment was reported to be very heavy and most likely required two or more persons to move them from their pads. The total loss is $7,500.00.

Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS or the Overland Park Police at 913-344-8750.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Overland Park Prostitution Sting Results in Discovery of Juveniles Involved in Sex Trafficking

Randal G. Jennings, 43 of Chillicothe, Missouri was sentenced to federal prison for Child Prostitution regarding his involvement in arranging for two 17 year old girls to come to Overland Park and engage in sex acts.

The Overland Park case against Jennings was initiated in January of 2009 when Jennings brought two 17 year old girls to a motel in Overland Park in response to a sex service ad published on the Internet. Undercover detectives from Overland Park’s Vice Unit were conducting a prostitution “sting” and arranged to meet the two girls. The girls were arrested and taken into protective custody. Randal Jennings was arrested in the parking lot of the motel by the undercover Overland Park Detectives as part of this “sting” operation. He delivered the girls to the motel and was their “pimp.”

On October 7, 2010 the Office of the United States Attorney in the Western District of Missouri sent out a public News Release indicating Randal G. Jennings of Chillicothe, Missouri was sentenced to 21 years and 10 months in federal prison for commercial sex trafficking of children. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia L. Cordes and investigated by the Overland Park, Kansas Police Department, and the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department, in conjunction with the Human Trafficking Rescue Project.

To read the News Release from the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri and learn more about the case against Randal Jennings go to

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Series of Crimes Solved,Property Recovered and Arrest Made

Since August 5, 2010 and continuing through September 9, 2010, Overland Park Police Officers received reports of burglaries to unlocked vehicles in the area near 56th Street and Metcalf and directly to the west of that location. Police reports indicated the stolen items were taken from unlocked vehicles.

The stolen property included GPS units, In-Dash CD player faceplates, loose change, CD’s, tools, cell phones and accessories, and wallets. These crimes were believed to be related.

On September 3, 2010, Officers responded to the same area and determined a 2008 Toyota Camry had been stolen from a residence. On September 9, 2010, Kansas City, Missouri Police Officers stopped this stolen car and arrested its three occupants. Interviews with the occupants yielded information related to the vehicle theft as well as a tip to the many auto burglaries taking place in the northern portion of Overland Park.

Overland Park Investigators identified a suspect and conducted an interview with him. The interview produced valuable information related to various crimes and the recovery of a significant amount of stolen property. The suspect indicated he was involved in criminal activity due to his addiction to illegal drugs. He also told the officers he would sell the stolen property for cash to support his habit.

Investigators submitted all the cases to the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office for review and formal charging.

To reduce criminal opportunity everyone is encouraged to lock their vehicles and remove items of value. If you must leave valuables in your vehicle, the trunk is a good location to store items or place them out of plain sight. Many criminals are opportunistic and will prey on the most vulnerable targets.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fall Brings On "wild" Times

It’s that time of year again where we see a natural increase in wildlife activity in the urban environment. With the increase in fox and coyote movement, it’s normal to see them during all hours of the day and night. This anticipated behavior occasionally raises questions about safety in neighborhoods, so here are a few facts and helpful tips when dealing with coyotes in your area.

Coyotes generally won’t attack a dog for food. Rather, they view dogs as competition for territory, food and mates. Coyote’s favorite foods are small mammals (mice, voles, shrews, rabbits). Coyotes will also eat feral and free-roaming cats. However, research done in the Chicago region has shown that even in an urban environment, coyotes prefer their “natural” foods of small mammals and carrion.

The most effective way to prevent a bad encounter with a coyote is to make sure all of your behavior reinforces its natural fear of people. Clean up food around your house that coyotes like, such as bird seed, messy garbage cans, or food left out for pets. These types of food sources are not natural and teach coyotes that if they risk coming close to people, they will be rewarded with food. Finally, keep all pets inside at night and watch small dogs while outside, even during daylight hours.

For additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Chief Animal Control Officer Eric Thompson at 913-895-6279 or email at Or visit the City of Overland Park FAQ’s webpage at

Monday, October 11, 2010

Results of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

On Saturday, September 25, 2010, the Overland Park Police Department, in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), participated in the first ever Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. This initiative was an opportunity for everyone to safely empty out their medicine cabinets of prescription drugs no longer needed or expired medications. In Overland Park, a total of 281 pounds of pharmaceutical medications were collected at two sites. Nationwide, at more than 4000 sites, 242,000 pounds (121 tons) of pharmaceutical medications were collected. The Drug Take-Back Day was a huge success. It educated the public on the dangers of unused and expired medications, as well as helped to prevent children and teens from gaining access to dangerous drugs.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Results of Aggressive Driving Enforcement at 95th and US 69 Highway

On Wednesday, October 6, 2010, from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm, the Overland Park Police Department's Traffic Safety Unit conducted Aggressive Driving enforcement at 95th St. and 69 Highway. In just one hour, Traffic Safety Officers issued 21 citations and made 2 arrests.

9 citations for red light violations
5 citations for failure to show proof of liability insurance
3 citations for failure to use a seat belt
2 citations for driving with a suspended driver's license
1 citation for no driver's license
1 citation for failure to control speed

1 arrest for possession of drugs
1 arrest for transporting an open container

The Traffic Safety Unit conducts periodic Aggressive Driving Enforcement throughout the city. To report an aggressive driver in Overland Park, call Police Dispatch at 913- 895-6300.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Scams, Scams and More Scams

Scammers are out there plying their trade. Over the last several months, Overland Park residents have been receiving phone calls telling them everything from their “grandchild” has been arrested and they need to send bond money via Western Union or “you won the lottery” but you need to pay a fee.

Other Scammers tell the residents they have won a cruise and gifts but they must send a fee. Residents have also been told they are the recipients of the Publisher’s Clearing house prize. Here are two of the more bazaar scams. One involved a story that a millionaire passed away and left money to his wife. The wife is now dying and needs someone to distribute their wealth. In another the caller said she was working for the government and needed personal information from the receiving party. The caller threatened to send agents over to the house if the party did not cooperate.

Thankfully most people realize these are all scams. And as a reminder, do not give out personal family or banking information to anyone who calls you on the phone. Always personally contact your financial institution if you should receive inquiries regarding your accounts.

Remember the adage “if it’s too good to be true, it’s not true.”

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Officers Arrest Apartment Burglar after Call from a Neighbor

On Tuesday at 9:45 a.m., Officers responded to a possible “burglary in progress” report in the 10400 block of Mastin. The Officers received information from the Police Dispatcher that a neighbor watched as an unknown man entered a ground floor apartment. When the officers arrived at the apartment, they observed the sliding patio door was not secure and the security bar was out of place. The officers entered the apartment and confronted a young man inside. He was immediately taken into custody. Further investigation revealed the suspect had some of the apartment owner’s property in his possession. The eighteen year old was arrested and charged with the felony crime of Burglary.

Thanks to the concerned neighbor who was willing to call the police and report suspicious activity. This is another example of how important it is for neighbors to watch out for each other and take the appropriate action by calling the police.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Reducing Accidents at I-435 and Metcalf

So far this year, there have been 85 motor vehicle accidents at I-435 Highway and Metcalf. That's more accidents than anywhere else in Overland Park. Looking back over the past several years, this interchange has consistently finished as the city's number one or number two High Accident Location. The primary reason for the high number of accidents is the result of high traffic volume. I-435 Highway and Metcalf is the busiest interchange in the city. Traffic volume appears to be increasing on both Metcalf and I-435 Highway most likely the result of current economic conditions (more vacations by car than flying) and road construction in other areas of the city.

The city's Traffic Engineer's Office reviews all motor vehicles accident reports and captures the "contributing factors." Contributing factors are determined by the investigating officer. Here are the leading contributing factors for the 85 crashes so far this year:

Inattention 24 accidents
Too fast for conditions 14 accidents
Followed too close 7 accidents
Under the Influence 7 accidents
Red light running 6 accidents
Failed to Yield 3 accidents
Improper Lane Change 3 accidents
Improper Turn 3 accidents

You can reduce the likelihood of becoming involved in a motor vehicle accident by slowing down and giving your full attention, especially in bumper to bumper traffic, to the road. Yes, that means not using your cell phone and sending or reading a text message. No phone call or text message is worth the risk.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Officers to Consentrate on Aggressive Driving, Stop Sign, Red Light and Speeding Violations

95th St. and US 69 Highway
Tuesday, October 5, 2010 7:30 am to 9:00 am
Tuesday, October 5, 2010 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Focus: stop sign violations and aggressive driving

119th St. and Metcalf
Wednesday, October 6, 2010 11:30 am to 12:30 pm
Wednesday, October 6, 2010 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Focus: red light violations, speeding and aggressive driving

Friday, October 1, 2010

Aggressive "door to door" Solicitors

Recently, officers have responded to calls from residents who encountered aggressive “door to door” solicitors at their homes. In one incident officers arrested two solicitors. One for Criminal Threat and one for an outstanding felony warrant out of Missouri. Our officers are aware of the problem solicitors and are focused on their activities.

Overland Park has an Ordinance (OPMC 5.64) that addresses “door to door” solicitation. To review the entire ordinance go to , click on the City Government link, on the left side of the page scroll down to Legal Publications, and click on Codes and Ordinance and put in 5.64.

One of the main tenants of the ordinance states that if a NO SOLICITOR sticker is affixed to the front door it is illegal for anyone to solicit at that residence. Other provisions specify the time of day solicitation is allowed, that being not before 10:00 am or after 9:00 pm. The ordinance also states solicitation is only allowed at the main entrance of the residence. Many other requirements are stated in the ordinance. NO SOLICITATOR sticker are available at Overland Park City Hall.

Violators found guilty are subject to a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or imprisonment not to exceed six months, or both fine and imprisonment.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Officer Succeeds in Persuading Distraught Suicidal Man to Seek Treatment

On Wednesday evening September 28, 2010 officers were called to a residence in regard to a man who was possibly suicidal. The initial call for service came from the man’s estranged wife who told officers she and her husband were going through a divorce and during a telephone conversation with him; he indicated he might harm himself. When the initial officer arrived at the man’s home he could see the man inside the house sitting at his desk with a handgun nearby. This officer was able to contact the man by telephone, established a “common bond”, and began a successful dialogue with him. The officer persuaded him to come to the front door of the house and talk face to face. Eventually the distraught man was convinced he should receive counseling and the officer assisted in obtaining professional assistance for the man.

This is another example of a situation any officers may encounter and must solve utilizing his/her acquired skills, training and experience. Thanks to this officer’s abilities and efforts a potentially life threatening situation came to a successful conclusion and no one was harmed.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Female Purse Snatcher

On Tuesday September 28, 2010 at approximately 5:15 p.m., a 76 year old woman was about to enter her car when she was pushed from behind and her purse was stolen. The victim was not injured due to the assault. The crime occurred in a parking lot in the 11700 block of Metcalf.

The suspect is an unknown race female with long dark hair, wearing a dark shirt, light colored pants and white shoes. After the crime was committed the suspect jumped into the passenger side of an awaiting car. The “getaway car” was described as a light colored four door sedan with a moon roof. The car had a temporary license tag in the upper left rear window. The car left northbound toward 115th Street.

Anyone with information on this crime is asked to call the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS or the Overland Park Police at 913-344-8750.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Neighborhoods and Police Officers Working Together, A Positive Relationship

On September 13, 2010, two search warrants for narcotics were served in the area of 78th and Kessler. As a result, two people were charged with possession with the intent to distribute narcotics. A third was charged with misdemeanor possession and a fourth was arrested for an outstanding felony warrant. This action would not have been possible were it not for the partnership being forged between the COPPS Unit and the neighbors in this area. COPPS, which stands for Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving, is a tried and true police philosophy that counts on a positive relationship between citizens and police to make the community safer. The COPPS Officers who work in this area understand the vast majority of neighbors are law abiding citizens who want a safe neighborhood. They encourage these good people to come together as a group, and help rid their neighborhood of criminals like those arrested on September 13th. It is no surprise that more and more neighbors are feeling empowered, as arrests like these are made, and reports of suspicious activity and other criminal behavior are being made to the police.

The neighborhood around 78th and Kessler has begun forming a Neighborhood Watch program, and selected a name for their town code, Timberland Creek. When the community and police come together in a cooperative spirit to make a neighborhood safer, criminals do not feel welcome.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Volunteer Mounted Search and Rescue

Overland Park Prepares to “Saddle Up”

The Overland Park Police Department is pleased to announce the formation of a volunteer Mounted Search and Rescue unit. The mission of the Overland Park Mounted Search and Rescue (OPMSAR) unit is to assist the Overland Park Police Department and other city agencies in various activities such as search/rescue and response to large animal emergencies. This unit is unique, as the members belonging to the OPMSAR are civilians volunteering their time for training with full-time police personnel to provide a professional response. Every OPMSAR member will provide their own horse that is capable of doing a wide variety of tasks. For volunteering their time, members will receive specialized training and equipment.

The task at hand for the OPMSAR is to pass both a written examination and a practical horsemanship test consisting of basic horsemanship skills and sensory testing. The volunteer mounted unit provides opportunities for the Police Department and citizens to work in partnership with the community to provide equestrian services in a responsible manner. For more information on OPMSAR or questions concerning the formation of the OPMSAR, please contact Chief Animal Control Officer Eric Thompson at 913-895-6279 or email

Roll Over Accident Causes Traffic Slow Down on I-435

A roll over accident caused rush hour traffic problems this morning. The accident was reported at about 7:30 a.m., and located at the end of the "fly over" ramp from southbound US69 highway to eastboundI-435. This accident caused a back up on the "fly over" ramp as well as traffic from northbound US 69 to eastbound I-435. Overland Park Officers and the Kansas Highway Patrol are involved in traffic control and investigating the accident.

UPDATE: A total of four vehicles were involved in this accident. Latest information indicates the driver of one vehicle was taken to an area hospital with minor injuries.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pizza Delivery Man Robbed at Knife Point

A Pizza Delivery man was robbed at knife point early Thursday morning. He was making a delivery at 12:45 a.m., to an apartment complex in the 9600 block of Perry Lane. As he approached the address he was confronted by a man with a knife and was robbed of his cash receipts. Investigating officers are following up on leads they received. The delivery man was not injured.

The suspect is described as a white male, 20-25 years of age wearing a light colored hooded sweatshirt and a dark colored bandanna covering his face.

Anyone with information on this crime is asked to contact the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS or the Overland Park Police at 913-344-8750.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

High Visibility Traffic Enforcement for Today and Tomorrow

I-435 Hwy and Metcalf
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 7:30 am to 8:30 am
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Focus: red light violations, aggressive driving and speeding

106th and Quivira
Thursday, September 23, 2010 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
Focus: red light violations, aggressive driving and speeding

Becky Atkinson 15-year Police Dispatcher Retires

Ms. Becky Atkinson for the last 15 years has been answering emergency telephone calls and dispatching police officers to every type of “call for service.” At the end of this week, she will retire.

Ms. Atkinson has been a very dedicated communications professional. Her clear voice and calm demeanor is a hallmark of her dispatching career. Ms. Atkinson was not a rookie when she came to the Overland Park Police as she had four years prior experience with the Kansas City Missouri Police Department. We are grateful to Ms. Atkinson for her dedication to our police department and the citizens we serve.

All of Ms. Atkinson’s friends and coworkers wish her the very best in retirement.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Blue Valley School District to Post special NO PARKING SIGNS

The Blue Valley School District is currently in the process of posting all of their school parking areas and lots to prevent congregating and other parking issues. The signs read as follows and may be enforced by any law enforcement officer.

Pursuant to Overland Park Municipal Code, NO parking, stopping, or operation of a motor vehicle is permitted in this parking area or lot during the hours of 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. conviction of this section shall result in a minimum fine of $100.00

Monday, September 20, 2010

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

On Saturday, September 25, 2010, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, the Overland Park Police Department, in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will participate in the first ever National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. This is an opportunity for you to safely empty out your medicine cabinet of drugs you no longer need or have expired, including prescription drugs that contain controlled substances.

Did you know:
• Unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue, leading to accidental poisoning, overdose and abuse.
• Tablets, capsules and all other solid dosage forms will be accepted. Intravenous solutions, injectibles and syringes will not be accepted.
• Pharmaceutical drugs, particularly controlled substances, taken without a prescription or doctor's supervision can be just as dangerous as taking illicit drugs.
• 1 in 10 high school seniors have used the prescription painkiller Vicodin for non-medical purposes.
• More Americans abuse prescription drugs than the number of those abusing cocaine, hallucinogens and heroin combined.
For this one-day only event, the Overland Park Police will offer two prescription drug collection sites: Sanders Justice Center, 12400 Foster and the Myron E. Scafe station at 8500 Antioch. Discarding your expired or unused prescription drugs is easy. Simply walkin to either Overland Park police facility and drop them in a box. No questions asked. Please share this information with your family and friends.

For more information or to find a collection site near you, go to and click on the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day icon.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Weekend Balloon Fest and Traffic Conditions

Starting Friday evening with the official opening ceremony and continuing over the weekend, a Hot Air Balloon Fest will take place in Overland Park. The event will be in a rural setting with the main entrance on 167th Street between US 69 highway and Antioch. A large attendance is anticipated throughout the three- day event.

Due to possible traffic congestion in and around the site, it is recommended attendees use a provided shuttle system. The shuttles leave from the South Creek Office Park at 132nd Street and Metcalf and are scheduled to run every twenty to thirty minutes. Shuttle information signs will be in place at the South Creek Office Park.

For those who choose to drive to the event, the recommended route is south on Antioch from 151st Street or south on Metcalf to 159th Street.

More information is available on the City of Overland Park’s web site along with a link to the Balloon Fest’s Information.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

School Resource Officer James Ho's Act of Kindness and Concern

Success can’t always be measured by statistics. School Resource Officer James Ho works at two middle schools in the Blue Valley School District. An administrator took the time to write the police department thanking him for being, “an invaluable member of our school community, who has made a difference in the lives of our students.” The compliment was prompted by an act of kindness Officer Ho displayed toward an emotionally disturbed student. This student attended one of the schools Officer Ho worked at last year, but this year she transferred to the other school he works in. Unfortunately, due to this student’s condition, she can be physically aggressive and was on occasion last year, which prompted Officer Ho to intervene. This year at her new school, she recognized Officer Ho as a familiar face and was happy to see him.

Complicating this child’s issues was the sudden, unexpected death of her father over the summer. A few weeks ago, she came to school with a broken soccer trophy she had received that her father had planned to repair for her. Officer Ho asked her if he could try to repair it for her, and she allowed him to try. The following day, Officer Ho returned and presented the repaired trophy to the student, who according to the administrator, “lit up with happiness.” Concern, trust, and the building of relationships as demonstrated by Officer James Ho, are some of the intangible benefits of the School Resource Officer Program in Overland Park.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Officer Training

Beginning this week and continuing through the following week Overland Park Police Officers will be participating in essential training. In Kansas each police officer must receive at least forty hours of “in-service” training each year to maintain his or her state certification. Our police department’s Personnel and Training Unit is responsible to provide appropriate and timely training and maintain records submitted to the state each year.
This week’s sessions cover defensive tactics which include Pressure Point Control Tactics (PPCT), “take down” and proper handcuffing techniques, ASP baton use, Pursuit Policy review along with Taser and OC spray (pepper spray) exercises.

The training refreshes officers’ mental and physical abilities so they may respond appropriately and effectively to calls for police service.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Resident Confronts and Struggles with Burglar

On Sunday morning September 12, 2010 at about 3:00 a.m., Overland Park Police were dispatched to a “Burglary in Progress” call in the 5100 block of Conser. When the officers arrived they contacted the 26 year old victim who told them he and a friend returned to his apartment. When they entered they confronted a man standing inside holding various electronic equipment. The intruder ran out the apartment’s back door with the victim in foot pursuit. During the chase the suspect and the victim both fell over the first floor balcony. And, twice during the pursuit the victim tackled the suspect but the burglar managed to escape both times. After the ordeal the victim returned to his apartment and found his flat screen TV, laptop, and remote control sitting on the back deck. It was obvious the suspect had placed the items there to steal. The crime scene was processed and evidence collected.

The suspect is described as a black male, in his 20’s, 5’8” thin build, short hair wearing dark colored pants.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Kids at Risk for Gang Activity

The Overland Park Police Department's Community Policing Section is rolling out a new program aimed at helping kids at risk for participation in gang activity. The program is called G.R.I.P., which stands for Gang Reduction Intervention Program. Two Overland Park School Resource Officers developed the program after seeing an increase in gang activity in their schools over the last few years.

All officers are asked to watch for kids who exhibit behaviors consistent with gang membership. Once identified, specially trained officers work together with these kids and their parents to find alternatives to gang involvement. This process relies on parents to work with officers to understand the risky behaviors of their children, identify community resources available for assistance (local organizations, churches, non-profit organizations, etc.) and then put into action a plan to steer their children toward a safer and healthier lifestyle. Since the beginning of this school year, twenty at-risk youth have been identified.

Traditionally, police have been concerned with enforcement when it comes to gang activity. With the G.R.I.P. program, we hope to intervene before enforcement is necessary and these kids become full-fledged gang members.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Combating Prostitution in Overland Park

Overland Park has never experienced overt, street-level prostitution. However, we have and continue to see prostitution within hotels and to a lesser extent, apartment communities.

Currently, the most prevalent types of prostitution in Overland Park are “call girls” who either rent a room and customers come to them, or travel to different locations to meet customers. We also see “escort services” where prostitutes pose as legitimate “dates for hire” as well as prostitution operations posing as massage businesses working out of store fronts or apartments.

In order to combat these forms of prostitution, the Overland Park Police Vice Unit, in conjunction with other Police Department assets, will work closely with hotel, motel and apartment operators. We will educate employees to recognize likely vice activity and encourage them to share the information with us.

We will also conduct regular “sting” operations where police officers will pose as prostitutes and customers in order to identify, arrest, and prosecute prostitutes, promoters, and customers.

Through these and other efforts, we expect to send the message that prostitution is not welcome in Overland Park.

High Visibility Traffic Enforcement for Friday September 10

119th and Nall
Friday, September 10, 2010 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
Focus: red light violations, aggressive driving and speeding

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Labor Day "Over the Limit, Under Arrest" Campaign Results

The Overland Park, Kansas Police Department conducted a Labor Day "Over the Limit, Under Arrest" from August 19, 2010 through September 6, 2010. The campaign was conducted with the principle focus on DUI deterrence and detection in an effort to reduce alcohol related accidents. Officers also looked for speeding violations, seat restraint violations, bicyclist violations, and pedestrian violations.

The results of the compaign are listed below:

240.5 Total Officer Hours (180 of the 240.5 hours were between 6:00 PM and 6:00 AM)
397 - Vehicles stopped
83 - Speeding violations
176 - Seat belts (18+)
3 - Safety Belts (14-17)
1 - Safety Belts (8-13)
0 - Booster Seats (4-7)
4 - Child Seats (0-3)
90 - Hazardous Moving
120 - Other Violations
3 - Warrant Arrest
4 - Drug Arrest
6 - TOC Arrest
11 - DUI Arrest
4 - MIP Arrest
5 - Other Arrest

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Organized Retail Crime Coalition

The Overland Park Police Department has taken steps to partner with Metro retailers in order to further reduce their theft and fraud related shortage.

Since January 2010, the Overland Park Police Financial Crimes Unit has hosted and facilitated the Kansas City Organized Retail Crime Coalition meetings. The meetings represent a solid partnership between Metro retail security investigators, municipal police departments and federal law enforcement.

Through facilitation of monthly meetings and email bulletins, our goal is to equip both law enforcement and retail investigators with the maximum amount of Organized Retail Crime Intelligence possible. Average attendance at the meetings is approximately 80 members, while the bulletins go out to around 300 metro wide members.

Our meetings are split between two sections. The first section takes the form of training. A typical training block utilizes a guest speaker with relevant experience to further equip members with the tools to impact their bottom line. A recent example of a guest speaker was the Midwest Protective Security Advisor for Infrastructure from the Department of Homeland Security.

The second section utilizes theft and fraud intelligence trends gathered by the retail investigators. These involve current intelligence of career criminal activity and attempts to indentify unknown offenders.

We've been receiving inquiries from other Metropolitan areas in the country regarding our Organized Retail Crime model and hope to begin seeing success stories to follow.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Child Car Seat Information

For the past several years, the police department has offered child car seat inspections. The inspections are free of charge. How important is having a child car seat properly installed in your vehicle? Just look at these remarkable statistics:
• Motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of children between the ages of 3 - 14.
• Car crashes kill more children each year than all childhood diseases combined.
• Most vehicle crashes occur at speeds less than 40 mph and within 25 miles of home.
• Nationally, nine out of every 10 car seats are being used improperly.
• The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that child safety seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71% for infants and by 54% for children ages 1 to 4 years.
Use of a child safety seat is not only a good idea, it's the law. The Child Passenger Safety Act (KSA 8 -1343) mandates all children under the age four to be in a federally approved child safety seat. Children ages four to eight years must be in a federally approved child safety seat/booster unless the child weighs more than 80 lbs. or is taller than 4'9". Children 8 years of age but under 14 must be protected by a safety belt. This law applies to all passenger cars designed for carrying fewer than 10 passengers.

Scheduling a child car seat inspection is easy. You can request an appointment online at Click on OPCares and then "Child Car Seat Inspection." If you don't have access to a computer, you can schedule an appointment by calling 913-895-6419.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

High Visibility Traffic Enforcement Locations for Friday September 3, 2010

75th and Metcalf
Friday, September 3, 2010 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Focus: Red light violations, unsafe lane changes and aggressive driving

87th St. and US 69 Hwy
Friday, September 3, 2010 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm

Focus: Red light violations and aggressive driving

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Police Explorer Post's "First Nighter" Information Session

On Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 6:30 p.m.,the Overland Park Police Department will host a “First Nighter” informational session regarding the department’s Explorer Post. Anyone interested in being a member of the Explorers is encouraged to attend this meeting at the Sanders Justice Center,12400 Foster. Parents are also encouraged to attend as the program will be discussed in its entirety.

The purpose of the Explorers is:
• To provide a program that educates young adults on the purpose, mission, and objectives of law enforcement.
• To provide an opportunity for service, practical experiences, competition, and recreation
• To help youth become better citizens through character development and patriotism.

Those who are interested in becoming an Explorer will be required to complete an application and pay a minimal fee. Overland Park residency is not required to participate. The meetings will be held on the first and third Thursdays of every month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The following are the qualifications for an Explorer:

• Must be 14-20 years of age and graduated from 8th grade
• Have and maintained a 2.0 grade point average or higher
• Have no misdemeanor convictions (including alcohol) in the last year
• Have no felony convictions
• Have a current valid driver’s license
• Cannot be on diversion or probation

For additional information contact Sergeant Melanie Pierce at 913-535-3041.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Remove Career Criminals from Our Neighborhoods

The Pareto Principle states that “…a small number of causes are responsible for a large percentage of the effect…” Also known as the “80:20 Rule,” this can be applied to crime as well as economics. It is commonly accepted that a significant amount of criminal activity is committed by a relatively small percentage of the population. And, of those who have committed crimes, a significant number are committed by a small number of criminals.

With this in mind, the Overland Park Police Department recently started a Career Criminal initiative. Two detectives, within the Crimes Against Persons Unit, have been dedicated to identifying and removing career criminals who live or operate in Overland Park.

A career Criminal is someone who sustains him or herself or satisfies an addiction through a criminal lifestyle. He or she commits multiple offenses, generally for the same type of crime, most likely will be or have been on parole or probation and is currently criminally active.

Career Criminal detectives will use traditional and hi-tech investigative techniques to identify, verify and locate persons fitting the definition of a career criminal. They will work with other officers, agencies, and prosecutors to arrest, successfully prosecute, and obtain enhanced penalties for these individuals.

Through these efforts, our aim is to provide a safer atmosphere for the citizens and businesses in Overland Park.

Monday, August 30, 2010

DUI Check Lane Results

The Overland Park, Kansas Police Department and several Kansas police agencies, conducted a DUI Check Lane on Friday, August 27, 2010. The DUI Check Lane was conducted with the intent to reduce alcohol related auto accidents and discourage impaired driving.

Please review the statistical results:

678 - Vehicles entered the Check Lane
59 - Drivers tested for DUI
14 - Drivers arrested for DUI
4 - Drug arrest
6 - Transporting Open Container (Alcohol)
1 - Other arrests

$83,000 in Stolen Property Returned to Rightful Owners

On August 5, 2010 Overland Park Detectives served search warrants on a home and two rented storage lockers. The Investigators recovered a large quantity of stolen property as a result of the searches. Additionally, two adults were arrested and charged with felony crimes in connection to the stolen property. The actual crimes occurred not only in Overland Park but also in Lenexa, Shawnee, Merriam, Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri.

In an effort to return the stolen items to the rightful owners it was decided the news media would be contacted and provided still photos of the recovered property. Next, Television stations were encouraged to video tape the items for their news broadcasts. As of today more than $83,000.00 in stolen property has been returned to crime victims. So far the returned items include a 2007 Jeep Wrangler, a 2006 Ford F-150 pickup truck, a go-cart, power tools, sporting goods and other miscellaneous but valuable property. A large quantity of the property still remains unclaimed. Investigators are attempting to return the remaining property to the rightful owners. The police department's number to call in regard to this property is 913-344-8702.

Friday, August 27, 2010

DUI Checkpoint Tonight

This Friday night a DUI checkpoint will be set up in Overland Park. More than 30 officers from Overland Park, the Kansas Highway Patrol, Johnson County Sheriff’s Department and officers from other cities routinely assist in the checkpoint.

More than 500 vehicles passed through the last checkpoint. Thirty-eight drivers were tested and eight were cited for driving under the influence, including a minor in possession of alcohol.

If a person is convicted of DUI, a first time offender may be assessed a $500 minimum court fine, excluding other court costs. There are other expenses a person could incur, but not to the court or city. This may include hiring a lawyer, increased insurance rate, treatment cost and more, which may amount to as much as $10,000.

Driving impaired is wrong and dangerous to everyone.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Officer Helps to Recover Severed Finger

Officer Tirsa Otero was working her evening patrol shift when she was dispatched to an emergency medical call in the 10400 block of Westgate regarding a man who was lawn mowing and injured his hand. When Officer Otero arrived, she learned the lawn mower had actually run over the man's left hand. A nurse who happened to be jogging by stopped to help. It was determined the 20 year old man had severed his left hand’s ring finger and was bleeding severely. Officer Otero, the nurse and Johnson County Med-Act paramedics attended to the victim. Med Act personnel asked Officer Otero to try and find the severed finger while they transported the young man to the hospital. Officer Otero along with assistance from the nurse, the victim’s brother, a Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputy and residents located the finger under a piece of wood near a deck. Officer Otero packaged the finger in ice then drove to the hospital where surgeons were waiting to began the proceedure in an attempt to re-attach the finger. The quick recovery and delivery of the appendage to the surgeons certainly enhanced the probability of a successful medical procedure. We all hope the young man will make a complete recovery.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Organized Retail Crime

The FBI estimates that retailers nation-wide lose $30 billion annually due to organized retail crime. Retail sales are a major portion of Overland Park's economy. Therefore, the economic welfare of the City and it's citizens is closely related to the health of the local retail sector. Large losses can endanger an employer's viability, as well as limit its ability to expand and/or hire new employees. An unhealthy retail sector can cause retailers to reconsider locating in Overland Park.

Organized retail crime, in essence, is professional thieves known as "boosters" who steal from retail environments. These thieves often work for others who direct their efforts, often down to exactly what and how much to steal. Items stolen usually end up for sale at flea markets or online auction sites. Items aren't stolen for use by the thieves, but rather for their marketability and ease of liquidation.

Given the importance of a healthy retail sector, the Overland Park Police Department has established an Organized Retail Crime function within its Financial Crimes Unit. Detectives assigned to investigate organized retail crime specifically target individuals who fit the above description.

Our Organized Retail Crime detectives work closely with retailers, other law enforcement agencies and prosecutors. Regular meetings take place involving representatives of these stakeholders to discuss trends, share information, training, and apprehensions.

Through these efforts, we intend to protect the health of the retail sector by establishing and maintaining robust coalitions, conducting aggressive investigations and prosecutions, and creating an environment that discourages organized retail crime.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lieutenant Colonel Jack Cauley Receives Sons of the American Revolution Award

On Saturday August 21, 2010 Lieutenant Colonel Jack Cauley was honored by the Delaware Crossing Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. He was named their Chapter’s Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. During the recognition ceremony he was presented the Sons of the American Revolution’s Law Enforcement Medal. This medal honors a Law Enforcement Officer who has served with honor, distinction, devotion, and exceptional service. Lieutenant Colonel Cauley certainly meets all the criteria.

Lieutenant Colonel Cauley began his Overland Park Police career in 1986 as a Patrol Officer and then advancing to a Detective, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Major and Lieutenant Colonel.
He currently is a Deputy Chief and commands the Tactical Operation Bureau.

Lieutenant Colonel Cauley holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Central Missouri State University and master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Kansas. He is also a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) National Academy.

Lieutenant Colonel Cauley is a member of various professional organizations including the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), FBI’s National Academy Associates (FBINAA) and the Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police (KACP) to list just a few.

Congratulations to Lieutenant Colonel Cauley.

Monday, August 23, 2010

K-2 and Similiar Products Are Illegal

In March of this year, it became illegal to possess or sell compounds JWH-018 and JWH-073 in the state of Kansas. These compounds were found in what was marketed as K-2 in several shops in the Kansas City and Lawrence areas. After K-2 was considered illegal, several other products were marketed under different names which contained the same compounds. Overland Park detectives began an investigation into some of these products, which were being sold in area gas stations. Samples were obtained and sent to the Johnson County Lab for testing. The owners of the businesses have been informed of the violation, as it is believed that the items contain the illegal compounds.

These materials are being marketed as incense and are being sold over the internet to businesses and persons. Some of the names marketed in our area have been “Texas Kush”, “Blueberry Twister”, “Citrus Twister” and “K-3”.

These compounds are now Schedule 1 drugs in the State of Kansas. To sell material with these compounds is a felony in the State of Kansas. To possess these compounds is a class A misdemeanor. Overland Park detectives have made arrests and obtained search warrants as a result of persons possessing these compounds.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Bail Money, Winning Lottery and/or Car Scams

On Thursday August 19 a police report was made by a man who said he received a call from a “police officer” at the Hawkesbury, Canada Police Department stating his grandson had been arrested and needed bond money. The caller said to send $4,500.00 by Western Union to Sydney, Australia. Unfortunately the man sent the money. This same scam has been perpetrated in our area over the past two years. Some residents have fallen for it and others have not. Anyone who receives such a call should not send any money and, if possible, obtain as much information from the caller as possible but not reveal any personal information. Then report the incident to us.

Also on August 19 a resident came to one of our police stations and reported she received a telephone call stating she won the Global International Lottery for one million dollars. The caller said they were sending over security to her home to escort her to the bank to collect the fee and deliver her check. The resident immediately realized this was a scam and did not participate.

There are variations to this scam that tell the resident they have won money or a car but need to pay a fee to receive their winnings.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Officers on Bicycles Again

Starting today, Officers from the Police Department’s Community Policing Unit will begin bicycle patrolling through neighborhoods. This initiative is part of the police department’s effort to maintain and strengthen community interaction and allow officers to be more visible and approachable. During the next two days officers will be in the neighborhood bounded by Antioch on the east, to Grant on the west, 79th Street on the north to 85th Street on the south.

This is an area which has seen increased calls for service from the police department and one of the neighborhoods identified in “changing trends” power point presentation from several weeks ago. This area has experienced an increase in absentee property owners, a potential for more street crimes and gang activity. The police officers on bikes increase the ability for “feet on the ground” involvement in the neighborhood and allow them to have a better contact with the area’s residents.

The Officers will work from mid morning into the evening hours and respond to any call for service. The late afternoons are a critical time of day as students are coming home from school and, once home, have free time. We know, as any parent knows, this free time has the potential for problems for some young people who do not have adult supervision for several hours after school.

We believe the Officers on bikes will be an asset to the overall well being of this or any neighborhood.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Who Are These Two Auto Burglars?

On Tuesday August 10, 2010 at 2:25 p.m., a locked vending machine truck was entered and cash receipts were removed. When the crime occurred the driver of the truck was inside a building servicing his company’s vending machines. When he came back to the truck he determined it had been entered and the cash removed. The loss exceeds $2,400.00.

Suspect #1 is described as a black male, wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans. He appears to be in his fifties or sixties, has short cropped grayish hair and grayish beard. The white T-shirt appears to have the words “vote for change” inscribed on the front.

Suspect #2 is described as a black male, in his 20’s, wearing a black ball cap, short sleeve blue shirt and black jeans. He has dark short cropped beard, wearing a watch on his right wrist. He also appears to have an unknown type tattoo on his right forearm.

Suspect Vehicle: Four (4) door Toyota.

Anyone with information on the suspects or this crime is asked to contact the Overland Park Police at 913-344-8750 or the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS.