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