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 eric.thompson@opkansas.org.

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.

NOTICE
Pursuant to Overland Park Municipal Code 12.04.085.2, 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 www.dea.gov 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 www.opkansas.org 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 opkansas.org. 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.