Friday, December 30, 2011

Bringing in the New Year

Bringing in the New Year is always exciting. It’s a time to reflect on what we have accomplished this year and what we want to accomplish next year. Traditionally, it is also a time to celebrate with family and friends. While the nice weather that is forecasted for this New Year’s weekend will ensure optimum road conditions, your travels can be hindered by impaired drivers. Now is the time to plan for a safe journey this weekend. If you plan to consume alcohol remember to designate a driver or make other arrangements for a safe ride to and from your destination.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 431 traffic accident related fatalities in 2010 for the State of Kansas. Of those, 168 were alcohol impaired driver related fatalities.

The Overland Park Police Department will be conducting a DUI “saturation patrol” on Saturday, December 31st, 2011. This patrol will begin during the late evening hours and continue overnight. Our desire is to discourage drinking and driving, which can result in automobile accidents.

Don’t let the few dollars you spend on alcohol end up costing you thousands in court fines and/or a trip to jail, not to mention the immeasurable cost of an injury accident or fatality.

Enjoy the New Year and Happy Holidays.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Sounds of Celebration

New Year’s eve is a holiday known for celebration. It is also a holiday known for noise. Besides our normal calls for service, officers will likely be called to investigate numerous fireworks complaints.

Please consider this my friendly reminder that fireworks are banned in the City of Overland Park. At the risk of sounding like a New Year’s Grinch, the sale, possession and discharge of fireworks, by anyone, adult or juvenile, can result in fines ranging from $200 to $500. Yes, this includes sparklers, snakes, and the smallest of firecrackers.

Another type of call the officers may receive is the sound of “shots fired”. In most cases this ends up being fireworks calls that are mistaken as gun fire. But if you are tempted to replace the celebration sounds of fireworks with that of gun fire, remember, what goes up, must come down.

It might seem harmless to shoot up in the air for the sole purpose of making noise, but it is illegal, not to mention extremely dangerous. Before you decide to celebrate in this way, please remember the tragedy that occurred in Kansas City, Missouri this past 4th of July when 11-year-old Blair Lane was killed by stray gunfire. The gun was fired by someone who intended no harm and only wanted to celebrate the holiday.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Time To Give Thanks


This is the season of giving. A sincere offer of appreciation is one of the greatest gifts of all. “Thank you” is exactly what one group of citizens wanted the officers to hear. We received the poster sized thank you card you see pictured here. I am proud of the Overland Park police officers and civilian employees. Receiving cards like this one is a reminder of why we do this job.




Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Knock-Knock, Whose There?

A knock at the door could be a sales person, delivery person, neighbor, friend, or visitor. Or, as one resident learned recently, it could be a burglar. She was taking advantage of what started out as a quiet morning to sleep in when she woke up to the sound of someone knocking on her door. When she did not answer the door, a would be burglar tried to break in through a rear door. She made a quick call to 911 as the burglars ran off. Patrol officers were able to snatch up the two juvenile burglars within a few minutes of receiving the call. With a little investigative work, officers and detectives were able to clear other open burglary cases.

Burglars are typically opportunists. They often choose to avoid confrontation, which is why most residential burglaries are reported during normal daytime working hours when most people are not home.

A common tactic they use is to knock on a door to see if anyone is home. If someone answers, they try to provide some excuse for knocking and then leave without much of an explanation. However, when there is no answer to their knocking, they assume no one is home. This is their opportunity to break in and help themselves to your belongings.

Crime prevention is about taking away the opportunity. When someone knocks, you don’t have to open the door, but letting them know you are there tells a potential burglar the home is not empty.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A New Twist On An Old Scam

Unfortunately, telephone scams that prey upon the elderly are not something new. However, I recently received information regarding an elderly female who was contacted in just this manner, but with a new twist.

In this case, the elderly female was called by someone who identified himself as a police officer. The caller told her that her grandson was arrested and required a $3000 bond to be posted for his release. She was told the bond needed to be paid by way of a wire transfer. Thankfully, she became suspicious and decided to verify the callers request before acting on it. She found out her grandson was not in custody of any kind and was safe at home.

In Overland Park, bonds must be paid in person. They cannot be paid by wire transfer or phone. If you suspect a call is suspicious, contact your local police department. They will be able to help you verify the correct agency and bonding procedures for your situation.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Safe Is All That Really Matters

I know there are probably a lot of unanswered questions regarding Aisha Khan. The most important fact for us all to remember is that she is safe. Everything else is now a personal family matter and we respect their privacy. Law enforcement officials were able to find, identify, and verify last night that she was not abducted and that no crime occurred. I want to thank everyone who dedicated their time and effort to this case. In the end, one that was missing has now been found.

‘Tis the Season…

The holiday season is a time of celebration and often brings families closer together. For some it can be a season of great expectations, and many individuals find themselves feeling they are not meeting those expectations.

Every year the police department responds to calls for service during the holidays which are not so merry. The stress of the holiday season can be the precursor for domestic situations as well as mental health calls for service. While buying gifts, making meals, and decorating are all important aspects of the holiday season, showing your love and support to those around you is the most important of all holiday considerations.

Taking the time out of our busy schedules to talk with our loved ones and neighbors might make more of a difference than you realize. If you feel they may be in a time of need, please don’t hesitate to call for assistance. Remember, a smile is contagious and might just brighten someone’s day who really needs it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

39 Years of Law Enforcement Experience Draws to a Close

There are few officers who can boast of 39 years of experience and even fewer that can say they have personally assisted in training the majority of the new officers in the area. These are two of Detective Denis Plumly’s bragging rights. Even though he is retiring today, his influence will be evident in the many officers he helped train.

Denis began his career in law enforcement with the Overland Park Police Department in June of 1972, as a patrol officer. From there he went on to work in the Traffic Unit, Investigations Division, and Professional Standards Unit. Denis’ experiences throughout his career and his personality made him a perfect fit for his last assignment as an instructor at the Johnson County Regional Police Academy.

To say Detective Denis Plumly has made an impression on many lives would likely be an understatement. Denis displayed the utmost professionalism. He has understanding when dealing with the public, his co-workers, and new officers. He dedicated his time and effort to passing on his knowledge to the new faces that will carry on in law enforcement.

The citizens and police officers in Overland Park wish Denis the best.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Sky is Falling! The Sky is Falling!

No, the sky really isn’t falling. But on Monday, December 19th, there was a street light that nearly fell into the roadway at I-435 Highway and Quivira Road. Around 7:30 pm the light was struck by a bus, damaging the pole. Repairs to the light necessitated closing the northbound and southbound lanes of Quivira over I-435 Highway to all traffic. The roadway was reopened about three hours later.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Missing Person Alert




The case of Aisha Khan is currently classified as a missing person; however, we are using our resources and partnerships in the possibility that this could be an abduction.

On Friday, December 16th, Overland Park police officers responded to a call from KU Edwards Campus officials regarding Ms. Khan. Responding officers learned Ms. Khan is a Johnson County Community College student who is taking classes at the KU campus as part of a cooperative agreement between the two education centers. Her sister reported that she had received a voicemail from Ms. Khan shortly after 11a.m. In her voicemail message, Ms. Khan mentioned an individual had been bothering her. When Ms. Khan’s sister arrived to pick her up, she was no longer there but her belongings were found where she had likely been studying.

We currently have ten detectives assigned to this case, as well as more than 50 officers. We have utilized our Mounted Search and Rescue Unit, which includes civilian volunteers on horseback. We also requested assistance from the FBI, Olathe police department, and the law enforcement agencies of KU and Johnson County Community College.

As our investigation continues, we are following up on various leads, including interviews with family members, friends, KU students and staff members, and construction workers who were working nearby.

Ms. Khan was last seen wearing a yellow and black shirt, black sweat pants, black scarf, black regular length jacket, and a black and white long outer coat.

She is 5’2”, 120 pounds, has dark brown hair, brown eyes, and sometimes wears glasses.

I am asking anyone who may have seen Ms. Khan or anything suspicious on the date in question to contact the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS or 913-344-8703.



Friday, December 16, 2011

Lt. Colonel Jack Cauley Retires, But His Successful Career Continues...

When you think of someone who will be retiring from work, you might picture someone who is kicked back and relaxed with one of the few challenges in life being what to do with their day. This will not be the case for Lieutenant Colonel Jack Cauley who retires from the Overland Park Police Department Monday.

Jack began his law enforcement career in 1984 as a Police Dispatcher with the Lenexa Police Department. After just a year of answering emergency phone calls and dispatching officers, he knew he wanted to be in the middle and helping those in need. In 1985 he became a Prairie Village Police Officer and served with this agency until 1986 at which time he was hired by the Overland Park Police Department.

In the 25 years Jack has worked for the Overland Park Police Department, he has worked his way through the ranks from a Patrol Officer to his present position as Lieutenant Colonel. His duties ranged from taking patrol calls, training new officers, working in investigations, and various other supervisory positions including the head of each bureau within the Department.

His outstanding performance in each role with the Overland Park Police Department leaves me confident he will have continued success with his next position as the Chief of Police for the Castle Rock Police Department in Colorado.



Thursday, December 15, 2011

If I Were a Thief...

During the month of December, the Patrol Division, under the direction of Sgt. Houlahan, has begun an initiative to help deter auto burglaries in locations such as apartment complexes, health clubs, shopping centers, and many others.

Officers will look inside each vehicle to see if there are any items of value that can be seen from outside the vehicle that could be an easy target for theft. Some examples of what they will be looking for are wallets, purses, electronic items, and laptops. During the holiday season, shopping bags with gifts are also items that are attractive to thieves.

If the Officer sees nothing that would attract a thief, they would then place a placard on the windshield thanking the owner for making their vehicle uninviting to thieves. If there are items of value observed from outside the vehicle, they will then make a note of that specific item on the placard. Each placard contains valuable information and statistics to help someone not become the next victim.

Auto burglaries do occur in Overland Park, whether you are at home, shopping, or even at the office. Last year, there were more than a thousand auto burglaries with property loss valued at over $775,000. Many of these vehicles were left unlocked, making them targets for thieves looking for easy access.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

True or False Alarm

Do you remember the old childhood story about the boy who cried wolf? This is a story that sometimes comes to mind when we talk about residential and business alarms. Last year Overland Park Police Officers responded to approximately 5300 alarm calls. More than 95% of these alarms were false alarms.

False alarms can be caused by a variety of reasons. Pets can set off motion detectors, visitors can enter the wrong code, employees have the wrong security word or code, and the list can go on. With an alarm call having the potential to tie up two officers or more for more than 30 minutes; it is imperative that the system works properly. Just as important is knowing how to use that system. Make sure anyone who will be using the system has the proper codes or contacts.

False alarms do have consequences. The City allows for 2 false alarm occurrences a year with no penalties. Each occurrence after that carries a fine. Fines can range from $50 to $250. Alarms can be beneficial, but making sure the system is properly designed for your needs may prevent a false alarm.

A permit is required for all alarms within the City. You may apply for a permit at www.crywolf.us/overlandpark. The permit fee is $10.00.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Unexpected Visitors Can Be So Annoying

For most people, Sundays are fairly quiet. This was not the case for one Overland Park resident on the morning of December 11, 2011. Around 10:00 a.m., her morning was interrupted when the driver of a pick-up truck drove through the front of her home.

Officers arrived on scene to find the pick-up truck had smashed through the front of the home and the driver still in the truck. Thankfully, no one was injured in the incident. Officers conducted their investigation and determined the crash was the result of driving under the influence of drugs.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Finders Keepers?

In today’s tight economic times, it might be tempting to keep money that is found on the street. However, one good Samaritan resisted the temptation recently. While on a trip to the Nuts and Bolts store located at 9628 Nall, our good Samaritan found some money in the parking lot. When he was unable to find the owner himself, he turned the money over to an officer.

In cases such as these, the Police Department holds the money for 90 days. If the rightful owner is located in those 90 days, the money is returned. If we are unable to locate the rightful owner, the money can be released to the finder.

The goal now is to find the rightful owner. If you have any information regarding the rightful owner, please contact the Police Department.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Did You Notice Anything Suspicious?

Yesterday evening Officers responded with the Fire Department to a fire call in the 7700 block of Metcalf Ave. The fire was already out upon the arrival of first responders. After some initial investigation, it was obvious to officials that the fire was intentionally started.

An unidentified person entered the men’s restroom at the convenience store and set some paper products on fire. There was damage to a wall along and some smoke damage, but the potential for serious damage was obvious. No injuries were reported.

The time frame in which this occurred was very short. A mere five minutes between 7:15 p.m. and 7:20 p.m. was all it took. The Police Department and the Fire Department are conducting a joint investigation. There is no surveillance video or photos available at this time.

If you were in this area around these times and observed someone acting suspicious, please call us at 913-344-8750, or the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

One, Two, Three, Felony

A number of years ago the State of Kansas made some changes to the theft statute that people may not be aware of. The changes made it possible to charge suspects with felony theft if they steal from three separate mercantile establishments in a 72-hour time period, regardless of the amount of loss. Also, a theft following two previous convictions can be charged as a felony under the revised statute. Again, this is regardless of the amount of loss. These changes were intended to help combat shoplifting.

We recently had an example of this. On December 6, 2011 four females were taken into custody for suspicion of theft at a popular Overland Park shopping destination. As officers investigated, they developed probable cause to believe the four took items from more than three stores within a 72-hour period.

The four women, all aged 18 or 19, were arrested and transported to the Johnson County Jail to await formal charges.

This case is a good example of the effort our officers put forth to implement the statute changes and actively prosecute shoplifting cases.


Kansas Theft Statute

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Crashing Through the Snow

Whether you’re going over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house or just commuting to work, snowy streets demand caution and a much lighter foot on the accelerator. The first snow of the season arrived this morning and traffic accidents quickly followed.

As you can imagine, the call load on snowy days increases substantially. If you are involved in an accident and there are no signs of injuries or intoxication and the cars are drivable, you have the option of exchanging information with all involved drivers and responding at a more convenient time to one of the police stations. Drivers have this option not only during inclement weather but during normal weather conditions as well.

The best advice is to do what you can to avoid being involved in an accident. Slow down during hazardous weather conditions and allow additional time to get to your destination. From 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. this morning we took approximately 55 accident reports.

If you are involved in a non-injury accident where intoxication does not appear to be a factor and the cars are drivable, remember you have the option to exchange information and file a report later. During inclement weather this may be your most efficient option. If you choose to wait for an officer to respond, keep in mind that emergency calls, including accidents with injuries and/or disabled vehicles, will be handled first. Please be patient.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Getting to Know the Department

Criminal Investigations Division Special Victims Unit

On February 1, 2010, the Special Victims Unit was created within the Criminal Investigations Division. SVU currently investigates the following crime types; Sex Crimes, Child Abuse, Online Child Sexual Exploitation, Elder Abuse, Juvenile Runaways, Prostitution and Human Trafficking. SVU consists of one Sergeant, seven detectives, and one Crime Analyst.

The community within the City of Overland Park, Kansas is not immune to the ills which plague our society today. A quote from the 18th Annual Crimes Against Children Conference exemplifies what our nation is facing today; “Computers and the Internet have made access to our children a child predator’s dream, and as such brings greater responsibility to the adults who seek to guide and protect them.” The Cyber Crimes Unit within SVU consists of two detectives who specifically investigate online Child Sexual Exploitation cases by proactively targeting persons in our community who victimize our innocent population of children. Computer Forensic Previews are conducted to assist in the determination of whether or not an extensive computer analysis needs to be completed at the Heart of America Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory. The Cyber Crimes Unit serves as an affiliate member of the Kansas Internet Crimes Against Children’s Task Force. One of the Detectives serves as a member of the FBI Cyber Crimes Task Force greatly enhancing our ability to seek federal prosecution and penalties.

Our three traditional SVU detectives investigate Sex Crimes, Child/Elder Abuse and Juvenile Runaways. The SVU works collaboratively with the Johnson County Sexual Assault Response Team, Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault, Sunflower House (Child Advocacy Center) and many other community organizations to offer the best resources for investigation, prosecution and victim advocacy. It should be noted, research into Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking has shown that habitual runaways, throwaways, orphaned and homeless teens are at a higher risk factor for commercial sexual exploitation. Therefore, detectives look into a runaway’s past criminal history, contacts with police and SRS reports to assist in providing services to prevent future runaway occurrences.

Our two Vice Unit detectives proactively target prostitution related crimes, Human Trafficking investigations as well as conduct background checks on Massage Therapy Establishments and Therapists. Vice Sting operations are conducted regularly as well as investigations into massage therapy violations. One Detective serves as a member of the FBI Innocence Lost Task Force which is aimed at addressing the growing problem of domestic sex trafficking of children in the United States. The Sergeant of this group also serves as a member on the Kansas Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Task Force Advisory Board.

Our Crime Analyst wears many different hats within SVU. She reviews all Internet Crime Complaint Center reports sent by the National White Collar Crime Center involving online fraud. Any complaints involving a crime within Overland Park’s jurisdiction are documented in a police report and forwarded to the Financial Crimes Unit for investigation. Our Analyst serves as the online researcher for the prostitution related advertisements as well as conducts analytical and background research on suspects of online child sexual exploitation initiated by Cyber Crimes detectives. In addition, she serves as a Cellebrite Power User which is a forensic tool utilized to download evidence from cellular telephones.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Warming up the Car

With the colder weather upon us, people are tempted to start their car and allow it to warm up unattended. It’s nice to get into a warm car when it is cold outside; that is if it is still there upon your return.

There have been 52 vehicles stolen in Overland Park as they were warming up (since January 1, 2010). Here is some interesting statistical information about cars stolen while warming up.

If this happens to you, it will probably take place at your home; 40 of the 52 were either at an apartment or a single family residence. These thefts most likely happen on a weekday, 44 of the 52. How about times? Our statistics show that the majority of these thefts occur between the hours of 0600 a.m. and 0900 a.m. (35 out of 52).

Is it legal? In Overland Park, it is not. There is an ordinance prohibiting unattended running vehicles not equipped with a remote start system. The fine for this violation is $90.00.

 If you park outside, what can you do? There are several remedies. If you have the ability to park inside, don’t park on the driveway or street. This will eliminate the desire to warm up your car, stay with your car as is warms, or invest in a remote start system or block heater.

 There is plenty of information on the internet regarding warming up your car. Just type “warming your car in the cold” into the search engine of your choice.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday Stress

Do you believe holidays cause stress? Having just gone through the Thanksgiving holiday and looking at the number of calls our patrol officers responded, I believe it’s a fact.

From 12:00 a.m. on Thursday November 24 to 11:59 p.m. Sunday, November 27, our officers responded to 43 disturbance calls, 12 of which were on Thanksgiving Day itself.

We typically see an uptick in domestic violence and child abuse calls during this time of year, holiday stress is likely the contributing factor. Our country’s current economic conditions may increase stress levels even higher.

Because of this I feel it would be a good time to remind people of some of the resources available in our area to assist in a time of need. The following local organizations have 24 hour hotlines staffed with people who may assist you.

Johnson County Mental Health

24hr Emergency Services 913-268-0156

SAFEHOME

24hr Emergency Services 913-262-2868

MOCSA (Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault)

24hr Emergency Services 913-642-0233

Monday, November 28, 2011

Help to Identify

Overland Park Police have taken four, criminal damage to property reports and one burglary report over the past few months in the area of 119th Street and Pflumm Street. Detectives have obtained surveillance photos from two of the incidents. The person of interest in the photo appears to be a juvenile.

Two incidents were reported on October 15, 2011, one in the area of 119th and Pflumm and the other in the area of 119th and Noland.
Exactly a month later, on November 15, 2011 a burglary occurred in the area of 119th and Pflumm.

The latest damages occurred on November 16, 2011 in the 13400 block of 119th Street. All of these incidents occurred in the evening hours.

Damaged property included broken windows, broken flower pots, broken locks, and tipped over picnic tables.

The burglary report noted approximately $12,000.00 in damages, mostly to a car in the garage, and thefts of alcohol and cash.

Anyone with information on the identity of this person is asked to call the Overland Park Police Department at 913-344-8750.



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Help to Identify

Overland Park Officers are working hard at Oak Park Mall and other retailers to deter and arrest shoplifters. They need your help to identify a person who attempted to steal $1300.00 in merchandise on November 11, 2011, and successfully stole $1000.00 dollars worth of merchandise on November 19, 2011.

The following photos are from the November 11th attempt. Her target is high end purses from a popular Overland Park retailer. Anyone with information on this women’s identity is asked to call the Overland Park Police Department at 913-344-875o, or the TIPS HOTLINE and 816-474-TIPS.

We will have additional officers working who will be placing extra attention on retail theft and fraud now through the Christmas holiday.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Officer Locates Stolen Property on the Way Home

On November 18, 2011, officers were called to the area of 137th Street and Eby to investigate two auto burglaries. The burglars had broken out car windows to access two purses left in plain view. This occurred between 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Later that night, one of our officers located the two purses near the roadway in the area of 133rd Street and Antioch. The Officer had recently gotten off duty and was riding his bike home. All the contents of both purses were accounted for, with the exception of the cash.

As we regularly see, items of value left in plain view encourage crimes of opportunity. The reality in the majority of these cases is that the cost to repair the damage caused by the suspects trying to get the items far exceeds the value of the items they steal.

Please do not leave items of value in plain sight.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Store Employees Detain Suspect

On November 17, 2011 at 2302 hours, our Officers were called to a local store on a reported robbery. While Officers were en route, they were informed the store employees had the suspect detained.

When Officers arrived, they discovered two employees holding the suspect to the floor behind the register. Officers relieved the store employees and took the man into custody.

The incident began when the suspect attempted to take money from the register during a purchase transaction. The clerk and another employee were able to pull the man to the ground and hold him for police.

One employee sustained a bite during the struggle and there were a few other minor cuts reported. No weapons were involved.

The suspect was transported to the Johnson County Jail to await his first appearance on charges of robbery, battery, and obstruction.

We thank these two employees for their assistance, but encourage everyone to account for their own well-being before becoming actively involved in a situation. Being a really good witness can be very helpful as well.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Farewell to Sergeant Larry Cohen

With a fond farewell and best wishes from the Overland Park Police Department, Sergeant Larry Cohen is retiring after 34 years with the Police Department. He started as a patrol officer in 1977 and patrolled the streets of Overland Park, Kansas for five years. His dedication to the city continued as crime prevention officer for eight years. In this position, Larry gave presentations to members of the community regarding safety, home security and business security, as well as child safety.

In 1991 Larry was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and became the supervisor for the Crimes against Persons and Property Units in the Investigations Division. His commitment to public safety did not end there. Crime Prevention, Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE), School Resource Officer and Community Oriented Policing units also benefited from his supervisory skills.

Larry pioneered a program to prevent new account fraud during the time when new account fraud was a major financial crime. He received the Police Department’s Public Safety Award for his innovative ideas. From 2001-2003 Larry co-managed the department’s $200,000 Underage Drinking Educational and Enforcement grant.

Larry has established a reputation for integrity, fairness and professionalism. Many members of the Department, as well as the city, will remember his sharp wit and humorous storytelling. Larry will always be known for his passionate support of MU but, more importantly, how he used this passion as a platform for encouraging young individuals to pursue higher education.

Sgt. Cohen, your smile and presence will be missed. Farewell and good luck in all you choose to do.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Why Are Police Officers Pulling Everyone Over?

Everyone knows the drill. You hear a siren and check your rearview mirror to see a police car behind you with flashing lights. You move over to the right side of the road safely; sadly enough the patrol car follows you. With a sigh you put your vehicle in park and turn on your flashing warning lights. As the Officer approaches, the same thought runs through everyone’s head, “What did I do?”

The truth is, officers execute traffic stops for many different reasons. Some would think the Officer has nothing better to do than pull over vehicles. Others would argue what they did is not really an issue worthy of a ticket. After the Officer tells the driver the reason for the stop the driver may even argue they didn’t realize what they did was wrong.

On a daily basis Officers who work in the Patrol Division and the Traffic Division patrol the city and look for traffic violations. Why the additional attention to traffic violations? The focus for additional enforcement is on high accident locations and violations which can result in serious injury, such as seatbelt violations and speeding.

As a comparison, the average traffic stop lasts from 7 to 15 minutes. Traffic accidents can last 30 minutes to 3 hours and can disrupt the flow of traffic if lanes are blocked or emergency equipment is required. Plus, added benefits to traffic stops are identifying those drivers who have warrants for various criminal activities in Overland Park, Kansas and adjacent cities, or those individuals who have histories of criminal behavior and could be related to crime trends.

On 11/10/2011 monthly results were provided for officers working on an accident and crime reduction initiative. 147 cars were stopped and 204 tickets written. Of those tickets, 37 were red light violations and 42 were seatbelt violations. Two of the stops even involved warrant arrests. These statistics do not include the number of tickets and arrests related to stops performed by Officers regularly patrolling the streets.

The idea for traffic enforcement does not include an arbitrary stop to pass the time. Traffic enforcement not only thwarts immediate hazardous driving, but also provides a reminder for the countless drivers who pass the traffic stop to drive responsibly. Those drivers see the enforcement and adjust their driving due to the presence of the Police Officer. Hopefully, continued enforcements such as these may convince citizens it is better to arrive at a location safely, than quickly.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Doug DeZube receives Public Safety Award

On November 9th 2011, Doug DeZube was recognized by the Public Safety Committee for the support he has given to the Overland Park Crime Free Multi-Housing Program. Mr. DeZube has worked closely with the Overland Park Community Oriented Policing Unit for over ten years. He has graciously provided our neighborhoods and apartments with guidance on a variety of public safety issues.

Through his diligent efforts, partnerships and problem-solving techniques were organized to proactively address public safety issues.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

All dressed up and nowhere to go, except jail that is.

As a follow up to my blog on Easy Money, I want to provide an update on the bank robbery from 11/9/11. Following up on a lead, Overland Park Detectives and members of the FBI made contact with a 28–year-old male in relation to the robbery. When questioned about the incident, the male admitted to the robbery. When he was taken into custody he was wearing a suit and ready for a night out on the town. However, he was arrested and spent the night in a cell instead.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thanksgiving Holiday Traffic Enforcement

The Overland Park Police Department will be participating in the Thanksgiving Traffic Enforcement Campaign, from Monday, November 21 through Sunday, November 27. This grant funded project from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) will specially target impaired drivers and vehicle occupants who are not properly restrained.

According to KDOT, the Thanksgiving holiday weekend (Wednesday-Sunday) commonly outranks all other holidays in its number of alcohol-related crashes. Those driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs endanger not only themselves, but also their passengers, other motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. A Driving Under the Influence conviction can result in jail time, suspension or revocation of driver’s license, fines, participation in an alcohol treatment program, possible impoundment of their vehicle, and installation of an ignition interlock device in that vehicle.

Failure to take two seconds to simply buckle up can be responsible for needless death and maiming. Drivers and passengers who do not buckle up are about 12 times more likely to be killed and almost twice as likely to suffer injury as those who do buckle up. This applies regardless of speed and whether on city street, county road, or highway.

Keep in mind that if you are going to be drinking – any amount at all– don’t consider driving home. Don’t let pride or concerns for your convenience endanger your life and the lives of innocent others. Always wear your seatbelt and don’t move the vehicle until each person riding with you is buckled in. It is your best defense, it’s their best defense, and it’s the law. By always following these simple rules, you will increase the safety of you and your passengers and avoid a costly DUI conviction.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Officers Arrest Six Women Shoplifting Together

Yesterday afternoon Officers were called to the area of 135th Street and Antioch to a child’s clothing store to investigate several people shoplifting.

Witnesses provided descriptions of the suspects and their vehicle to dispatchers. The information was passed to the responding officers who quickly arrived and located the vehicle with the women inside.

Officers detained the women and began investigating the incident. Through the investigation, probable cause was developed and all six women were arrested.

They were all transported to the Johnson County Jail to await their first appearance on charges of felony theft. The ages of these women ranged from 18 to 39.

With the holiday shopping season kicking off, we will be watching for this type of activity.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Easy Money…Not When it Catches Up With You

A white male suspect entered the First National Bank of Kansas, on 11/9/11 at approximately 9:20 a.m. and committed a robbery. The bank is located in the 9700 block of Metcalf.

The robber gave the teller a note demanding money and the teller complied. No weapon was displayed and no injuries were reported.

The suspect left on foot in an unknown direction with an undisclosed amount of money. The following photo of the suspect has been released.

Anyone one with information on this crime is asked to call the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

OPPD Returns the Favor

Our metro area police departments are very good at working together to solve crime. The following events are two examples of this kind of team work.

On November 6, 2011, Officers with the Lenexa Police Department caught and arrested a juvenile male for committing auto burglaries in their city. During their investigation they found reason to believe that their arrestee may have committed the same crime in Overland Park.

After speaking with Lenexa Officers, Overland Park Officers responded to an address in Overland Park and discovered an auto burglary that had not yet been reported.

Great police work and cooperation, right? Hang on, it gets better.

The next night, an Overland Park Officer made an arrest and through that investigation, found reason to believe that the person he arrested may have committed auto burglaries in Lenexa.

Lenexa Police were contacted and began investigating. Through their investigation, they now believe the person arrested by the Overland Park Officer may have been involved in at least two auto burglaries in their city.

Isn’t team work great!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Help Detectives Identify a Person of Interest

This worked yesterday, lets try it again.

The Overland Park Investigations Division is asking for the public’s help in identifying the man pictured below.

On October 31, 2011 Loss Prevention Officers (LPO’s) from a local retailer called to report a shoplifting case. They suspected a man of concealing and stealing video games. The LPO’s attempted to stop the man but he pushed past them as he fled the store, which constituted a battery on the LPO’s.

No injuries were reported. The suspect was described as a black male in his 20s, approximately 6 feet tall and 300-350 lbs. He had a thin goatee, slightly tinted glasses and gold teeth. He was wearing a baseball cap backwards and a black T-shirt with a “Coogi heritage” logo.

Anyone with information on the identity of this man is asked to call the Overland Park Police Investigations Division at 913-344-8750.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Follow up to the Previous Blog

Detectives believe they have identified the person of interest shown in the photo from the earlier blog.

Thank you to everyone that assisted in this case.

Help Detectives Identify a Person of Interest

On 09/20/11 an Officer took a report on an unusual incident. The reporting party stated they were the victim of deprivation of property. It turns out that the victim loaned a laptop to a person they recently met on Facebook. He was supposed to return it that day, but never did.

When the victim attempted to re-contact the suspect, the suspect’s identity is now in question. The victim provided the following photo of the person of interest in this case.

If you know the identity of this man, please call the Overland Park Police Department at 913-344-8750.

Please use caution on social networking sites. Just because the site indicates you may know a person, that is not always the case.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Getting to Know the Department

A Police Sergeant

A Sergeant is the first line supervisor who is responsible for upholding the standards and practices of the Police Department. Sergeants have the daily task of juggling paperwork and field work necessary to guide a team of Police Officers. They do not respond to every call, but may arrive on a scene for a variety of reasons. Sergeants are required to supervise all the time, not just when a call for service deteriorates into a dangerous or complicated situation.

They may arrive on scene to offer assistance, provide direction, or to meet with an officer to discuss other police matters. A Sergeant is constantly evaluating needs-- needs for relief, needs for additional resource and needs for equipment. They may even simply supply a welcome bottle of water for a thirsty officer directing traffic.

Sergeants also respond to calls for service when officers are occupied with other situations. They will respond to back up officers, make traffic stops, and even handle the initial investigation of a call. They prepare performance evaluations for officers and are tasked with equipment tracking and maintenance. And let’s not forget, Sergeants read and approve every police report written by officers.

Do you know how to differentiate a sergeant from an officer? Police uniforms vary according to rank, but most people don’t know how to interpret those differences. Badges and name plates on an officer’s uniform are sliver; on a Sergeant’s uniform they are gold. In addition, the Sergeant uniform has three gold stripes on the sleeves of the shirt.

In Overland Park, a Sergeant is constantly in the field trying to make a tough job a little easier for Officers and to make sure the department provides exceptional service for the citizens we serve.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Follow up to Sept 8th, and Sept 15th, blogs

Through this blog, I try to keep citizens aware of events occurring in our city. Frequently, we ask you to watch for a suspect car, identify a certain type of crime, or assist in identifying a person. Whenever possible, I believe we should provide updates to those events for which we have asked assistance.

If you remember, on September 8th and 15th we posted a photo showing a person of interest in some burglaries of cell phone stores. Recently, we gained more information on these crimes from a simple car stop.

On October 28, 2011, an officer stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation in the area of 75th and Metcalf. The juvenile driver did not provide the officer with his correct personal information so the officer began to investigate further. During the investigation, the officer discovered the juvenile was in possession of stolen property.

As the investigation continued, information regarding the cell phone burglaries was discovered. The juvenile was taken into custody for obstruction, possession of stolen property, and driving without a driver’s license. There have not been any charges filed regarding the cell phone burglaries as of yet, but the cases will be sent to the District Attorney’s Office soon for review of charges.

Just thought you would like to know.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

One Shoe Shoplifter Ran, but He Could Not Hide

Losses from shoplifting not only negatively affect businesses, they also negatively affect consumers. Businesses charge higher prices for products to compensate for shoplifting losses. Deterring shoplifting and prosecuting offenders benefits everyone. That’s why one of our officers recently ran “the extra mile” to catch one.

On October 31, 2011 about 7:00 p.m., we were called by a Loss Prevention Officer (LPO) to one of our local businesses. The LPO reported a suspect concealing video games in his clothing.

As one of our officers was arriving, the LPO reported that he chased the suspect from the store out to the parking lot. The suspect then headed eastbound from the store. About this same time, our officer observed the suspect run right past the front of the police car.

Our officer got out of his car and chased the suspect. The foot pursuit continued into a farm field. The suspect failed to comply with the officer’s commands to stop, despite losing his shoe and spilling video games on the ground.

The officer eventually caught up to the suspect and was able to get him to the ground and place him in handcuffs. No injuries were reported. The suspect was transported to the Johnson County Jail to await his court appearance for theft and a drug possession charge.

If you search the web, you will find several sites that estimate annual retail losses in the billions due to theft. Any impact we can have to deter this crime is beneficial to everyone.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

No Excuse for This

One of our hospitals was a recent victim of property damage. For no apparent reason, someone threw a rock through a window near the ambulance entrance to the hospital. The rock that broke the window was no bigger than a ping pong ball.

This occurred on 10/28/2011 around 9:30 p.m. Officers responded to 124th Street and Metcalf to take a report on criminal damage to property. The surveillance cameras showed two individuals standing on the helicopter pad just before the incident.

One person ran across the helicopter pad and into the dark immediately after the damage occurred. The video shows that individual was wearing all dark clothing.

If you were in this area and witnessed anything, contact the Overland Park Police Department at 913-344-8750.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Nose Knows

Police Officers regularly use their senses to help them do their jobs. The use of sight and hearing are obvious, but the sense of smell can also help to detect crime.

On 10/26/11 an officer used his nose while on the front step of an Overland Park residence. The distinct odor of marijuana was wafting through the air. After talking to the resident, the officer decided to obtain a search warrant for the home.

The officers executed the warrant and found contraband causing the smell. No arrests were made at that time, but we are confident they will be forthcoming.

This is an example of good police work and a job well done by all the officers involved.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

White Pickup Connected to another Cigarette Theft

We have taken several cigarette theft reports this year that involved a white pickup truck as the getaway vehicle. The latest incident occurred early yesterday morning.

On October 26, 2011, around 5:30 a.m., two people entered a store in the area of 75th and Metcalf. While the involved female distracted the clerk, the male suspect went behind the counter, grabbed several cartons of cigarettes, and fled the store to the white pickup truck. A short time later, the female returned to the white pickup truck, as well, and the two left the area.

The truck is further described as a Chevrolet Silverado extended cab with unknown tag. The truck has a black trim piece running horizontally across the middle of the door.

The suspects were described as a heavy-set black female wearing a white t-shirt and black pants and a tall, slender black male wearing a gray shirt and blue jeans, with an unshaven face and short black hair. He is believed to be involved in previous cigarette thefts.

Anyone with information on the identity of these people of interest in the below photos is asked to call the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS.

The below photos are from this latest incident.









The below photos are from one of the thefts earlier in the year.



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Unwelcome Night Visitor

Open houses are a traditional way to visit with friends and relatives during the holidays, but be careful about providing one for burglars. No one wants strangers entering their home.

Occasionally we have an incident where a resident encounters a stranger who has entered their unsecured home. We recently took a report on an event like this.

On October 25, 2011 shortly after midnight a resident called police after scaring off a stranger who had entered their home. When the resident heard one of those “bumps in the night,” they went to investigate. The resident opened the door leading to the basement and garage to discover a 23-25 year old white male standing there.

The man ran out of the house and the resident followed for a short distance before calling police. Police responded and searched the area but the suspect was not located.

It turns out that a side door to the garage was left unlocked which provided the suspect an opportunity for entry. There was no reported damage and no loss of property in this event.

The suspect was described as approximately 5’10 with a slender build and he was wearing blue jeans, a black ball cap, and a dark blue coat.

Make sure you have your doors and windows locked to help keep this from happening to you.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Police Reports

No one wants to be the victim of a crime, but what do you do if you are? First of all, if you find yourself in an emergency situation, call 911 immediately. If you are in a non-emergency situation, you can contact Police Dispatchers at 913-895-6300. They would then dispatch an Officer to your location to complete your report. They may also present you with the option of responding to either two of our stations, 8500 Antioch or 12400 Foster, to make your report. But, speaking with an Officer in person is not your only option. Our Online Police Reporting might be what fits in best with your day.

We allow submission of non-emergency reports that you may file immediately, with no wait. Then you can print a copy of the report for free.

The following types of reports may be completed online:
Harassing, threatening or obscene phone calls
Theft of: motor fuel, services, items from a vehicle, or other miscellaneous thefts
Suspicious activity or people
Vandalism
Lost license plates-not stolen
Lost property such as cell phones, wallets, purses, etc.
Possible drug activity in a neighborhood (that is not occurring at the moment)
Unlawful use of a credit or debit card

All reports filed with our Online Reporting System are reviewed by personnel. After review, a police officer or detective may contact you for further investigation, if needed. Reports with limited information or no leads do not get assigned to an investigator, so details are imperative. This reporting method can be found on our city website, www.opkansas.org.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Drive Carefully Around Accident Scenes

Several years ago the State of Kansas passed a law requiring vehicles to slow and/or move over a lane when approaching and passing a stopped emergency vehicle with emergency lights activated. This was done in an effort to keep emergency personnel safe when they are in dangerous traffic conditions associated with their duties. It is a good reminder for everyone to take extra driving precautions while navigating around events where emergency first responders are present.

On 10/21/2011, first responders were on the scene of a traffic accident in the area of 91st street and Metcalf. A motorist trying to get around the event ended up side-swiping a parked ambulance on the scene. The motorist was attempting to make a left turn around the event when his driver’s side mirror struck the ambulance. Luckily, there were no emergency personnel on that side of the ambulance.

When navigating around an accident scene, if you have any concerns about striking an emergency vehicle as you are trying to get around it, you are passing too closely. Please drive slowly and watch for people outside of vehicles.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Drug Take-Back Day is October 29th

In coordination with the DEA, the Overland Park Police Department will host two sites for the upcoming Prescription Drug Take-Back day. The event is scheduled for Saturday, October 29, 2011, from 10am to 2pm.

The two Overland Park locations will be 8500 Antioch Road and 12400 Foster Street. This is a great opportunity to safely dispose of expired and/or unused medication. This disposal method ensures these medications do not fall into the wrong hands.
Nationwide, these take-back days have been a huge success. During the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days on September 25, 2010 and April 25, 2011, nearly 4,000 state and local law enforcement agencies participated and collected more than 309 tons of pills.

Check out the following links from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration for further information.

DEA

FDA

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

If You Snooze You Lose

Did you know studies have shown that 37% of drivers have reported falling asleep or nodding off at the wheel?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data reflects that over the past few years, there have been nearly 56,000 crashes annually in which driver fatigue or drowsiness played a role. The National Sleep Foundation offers the following tips to help prevent you from becoming a statistic:

• If possible, get a good night's sleep.
• Plan to drive long trips with a companion.
• Schedule regular stops every 100 miles or two hours.
• Avoid alcohol.
• Avoid medications that may make you drowsy.
• Drink the equivalent of two cups of coffee.
• Limit naps to 15 to 20 minutes. More than that can make you feel groggy.

Click the following links for more information.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

National Sleep Foundation

Child Safety

The story surrounding the missing child from Kansas City, Missouri has captivated the news and the entire metropolitan area. Although these events are very rare, there may be a lot of parents out there asking themselves “How do I keep my child safe?”. A missing child is something no one would ever want to go through.

Although the following information from The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children may not be applicable to the current case in Kansas City, MO, due to the age of the child involved, it is good information. You may want to take this opportunity to speak with your children about safety.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children provides some of the following information on their website.

What are the most important things parents should tell children about safety?
1. Always check first with a parent, guardian, or trusted adult before going anywhere, accepting anything, or getting into a car with anyone.

2. Do not go out alone. Always take a friend with you when going places or playing outside.

3. Say no if someone tries to touch you, or treats you in a way that makes you feel sad, scared, or confused. Get out of the situation as quickly as possible.

4. Tell a parent, guardian, or trusted adult if you feel sad, scared, or confused.

5. There will always be someone to help you, and you have the right to be safe.

What should a parent know when talking to a child about safety?
1. Don’t forget your older children. Children aged 11 to17 are equally at risk for victimization. At the same time you are giving your older children more freedom, make sure they understand important safety rules as well.

2. Speak to your children in a manner that is calm and reassuring. Children do not need to be frightened to get the point across. In fact, fear can thwart the safety message, because fear can be paralyzing to a child.

3. Speak openly. Children will be less likely to come to you about issues enshrouded in secrecy. If they feel that you are comfortable discussing the subject at hand, they may be more forthcoming.

4. Do not teach “stranger danger.” Children do not have the same understanding of “strangers” as adults; the concept is difficult for them to grasp. And, based on what we know about those who harm children, people known to children and/or their families’ actually present greater danger to children than do “strangers.”

5. Practice what you preach. You may think your children understand your message, but until they can incorporate it into their daily lives, it may not be clearly understood. Find opportunities to practice “what if” scenarios. Teach your children that safety is more important than manners. In other words, it is more important for children to get themselves out of a dangerous situation than it is to be polite.



For more information, click the following link to go the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children website.

missingkids.com

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

If it Walks Like a Duck.....

An Overland Park man trusted his instincts and reported suspicious behavior, which resulted in two arrests.

On October 13, 2011, at 3am, Overland Park Police responded to a call of two suspicious males walking in a neighborhood wearing gloves and carrying backpacks. The reporting person had seen the males enter a silver sedan. When officers arrived, they observed a silver sedan parked in the street with its doors open. A foot chase then ensued with two males who matched the description.

A K-9 was called out to assist with this search. The silver sedan was a stolen vehicle and had a .22 caliber rifle inside. Two suspects were soon located and taken into custody.

This criminal activity would not have been discovered without citizen’s help in observing and immediately reporting this suspicious behavior to police.

Monday, October 17, 2011

There Goes My Roof

With all the storm damage we have seen this summer, there are a lot of roofs still being replaced. As I am sure you have seen around your neighborhood, contractors often place supplies for upcoming jobs on the driveways of the homes. These supplies can become targets for thieves, and homeowners may not notice them disappearing.

Recently, Officers took a report of a theft that involved these circumstances. The homeowner witnessed two Hispanic males arrive in a beat up white Chevy pickup truck. The homeowner saw them load a bunch of roofing supplies and leave. He thought it was strange, but he did not know if the contractor needed the material for another job. The homeowner called the contractor who told him his employees did not take the supplies.

The homeowner then called police and reported the theft. The passenger of the truck was described as a “skinny” Hispanic male. The driver of the truck was described as a stocky Hispanic male, 5`8, 220 lb, medium black hair, and had the word "Mexican" tattooed across the front of his chest.

The homeowner believed the truck was possibly a 1990 - 1992 model Chevrolet with a partial Wyandotte County Kansas tag of 084-D___.

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



*Unrelated Photos


Thursday, October 13, 2011

COMMUNITY SHREDDING EVENT

October 22, 2011
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Location:

Overland Park Police Department
12400 Foster Street
Overland Park, KS 66213


All shredded materials are recycled to help protect the environment!

Donations accepted to benefit the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers TIPS Hotline, a 501c3 non-profit organization that takes anonymous citizen tips to solve felony crimes in your community.







**Limit 3 boxes / bags per vehicle**

Click the following link to see flyer.

Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers

TIPS Hotline 816-474-TIPS (8477)
www.KCcrimestoppers.com
Text “TIP452” to “CRIMES” (274637)

But, Officer, It’s Not MY House..

Overland Park continues to have zero tolerance for underage drinking. Several arrests from this past weekend show our effort to curb this activity.

An 18-year-old who was house-sitting for a family member allowed a party to gather that involved underage drinking. As what commonly happens in these situations, an unusually high amount of traffic drew attention to the home. Officers responded, and after a short investigation, the 18-year-old was arrested for hosting. Six other people under the age of 21 were arrested for minor in possession of alcohol.

As you can see from this incident, it’s not just parents who get arrested for allowing underage drinking to take place in their homes. Anyone allowing underage drinking to occur on property they have control over can be sited for hosting.

If you are a parent please talk to your children about the serious consequences of taking part in one of these events.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Auto Burglary Victim Detains Suspect

Rarely does the victim of an auto burglary see the suspect commit the crime. It’s even rarer for the victim to catch, detain, and notify police, but that’s just what happened.

On 10-07-11 around 1045 a.m. a man working on a retail construction project observed a young man enter his car. The victim quickly ran to his vehicle and confronted the young man. The car owner detained the suspect and called police.

Police arrived and took the suspect into custody. As police were investigating the incident, a second suspect was located and taken into custody, as well.

It turns out the two were out of gas and decided to go through vehicles in the area looking for loose change to buy some. They were eventually released to the custody of the Johnson County Jail to await their first appearance.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Get Out of My Car

At the end of the work day most people are tired, still have many things on their minds and just want to get home. Ejecting a stranger from your vehicle prior to battling rush hour traffic should not be part of anyone’s commute.

This happened recently to the manager of a local restaurant. At the end of her shift, she discovered an unknown male sitting in the passenger seat of her car. Several employees tried to get the man out by opening the door, but he kept shutting it. After several attempts to remove him, the man locked himself in. Officers arrived and were able to remove the young man from the car. It appeared he had been drinking.

The manager was not interested in filing charges since the man did not cause any damage to the vehicle and did not take anything. A family member responded to the scene and accepted responsibility for the man.

This is a good reminder to make sure you lock your car when you are going to be away from it. After a long day at work this would be the last thing you would want to deal with.

Monday, October 10, 2011

October is National Domestic / Dating Violence Awareness Month.

Domestic Violence is not just about physical abuse. It has many aspects and often includes emotional abuse. It can happen to anyone regardless of gender, size or age. In fact, if you do any research you will find many sites indicating that 1 in 3teenagers have experienced violence in a dating relationship.

Regardless of the victim’s or offender’s age, domestic and dating violence is about power and control. Every relationship is different, but domestic violence often follows a cycle. First, tension builds to a breaking point, then there is a violent or extreme emotional event, and finally the couple enters into what is commonly known as the “honeymoon phase.” The honeymoon phase is where an offender often apologizes for the incident and may even promise that it will never happen again.

While there are many warning signs of abuse, here are ten of the most common:

1. Checking your cell phone or email without permission
2. Constant put-downs
3. Extreme jealousy or insecurity
4. Explosive temper
5. Financial control
6. Isolating you from family or friends
7. Mood swings
8. Physically hurting you in any way
9. Possessiveness
10. Telling you what to do

By knowing what to look for you can help break the cycle of violence. If some of these warning signs describe a relationship you are in or know of, don’t wait to seek help. These situations normally escalate in frequency and intensity. Reporting the incident could save a life.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Crossing Guard Celebrates 31 Years

Mary Cutting has been a School Crossing Guard for the City of Overland Park Police Department for 31 years! She has covered several schools during this time. She spent 20 years at Rosehill Elementary, four years at Oakhill Elementary and Oxford Middle School, and is presently serving at Pawnee Elementary School. She loves her crossing and the kids.

Mary grew up in Kansas City, MO and has been married to her husband, Luther, for 60 years. Together they have 4 children, 7 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. They also have an 11 year old Pomeranian named Libby. On nice days Libby goes to work with Mary.

You may not realize it, but every day a crossing guard works, they not only keep our children safe, but they also keep a police officer available to answer emergency calls.

Thank you for your many years of dedication and service to our children. Our community relies heavily on our crossing guards. They are trusted with our most valued and irreplaceable treasures, our children.




Flying Manhole Covers

It wasn’t quite like the exciting scenes from the movie “Volcano” where rivers of bubbling lava gushed through the sewer system and sent manhole covers airborne, but we did have one flip its’ lid recently.

Police and Fire personnel responded to 103rd and Grant on the morning of October 4, to investigate a report that an explosion had blown off a manhole cover. Smoke was observed by Fire personnel when they arrived.

It appeared that electricity may have been the culprit, so the street was closed for a short time while KCP&L responded and investigated. It was determined that some type of power arcing took place that caused the event.

The electric company was confidant this would not happen again.



*Non-related photo

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Car Wash Thieves Make a Clean Get-Away, for Now

We have all heard of thieves causing more financial damage to property during a theft than the value of the items they took. A good example of this is destroying walls in a home under construction to access copper wiring worth a few dollars. We had a case like this recently, except instead of copper, the target was quarters.

Sometime over night from 9/19/11 to 9/20/11 the collection boxes of five coin-operated machines at one of our local car washes was targeted. The face plates where coins are deposited and wash selections are made were pried open causing over $17,000 in damage. The value of the stolen coins is estimated at far below the cost of repairing just one of the five damaged units.

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

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Car Alarm Foils Thief

Some mornings that 5:30 a.m. alarm clock is a very unwelcome noise. An Overland Park resident was awakened recently by a much more ominous alarm.

On September 29, around 3:00 a.m., the car alarm sounded from one of the vehicles parked in his garage. As he got up and looked out the window, he saw a man run from his garage to a car across the street. The vehicle left in a hurry. When the resident got to his garage, he realized he had left his overhead door open when he went to bed.

There were two vehicles in the garage; one was locked and one was not. The suspect had rifled through the unlocked car. However, when he tried to enter the locked car, the alarm awakened the homeowner.

Thanks to the car alarm, the resident did not suffer any loss in this incident.

This event shows the benefit of locking your car even if it is inside your garage.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Vacation Frustrations Thwarted by Security Guard

When on vacation or just out of town for a long weekend, having your car broken into or stolen can quickly turn precious time off into a nightmare. Time that could have been spent dining or enjoying a ball game is spent filling out police reports and repairing damage to your car.

An alert hotel security guard saved visitors from that vacation nightmare in Overland Park late last month. Around 9:30 pm on September 30, our department received a call reporting a person looking into cars in an area hotel parking lot.

Officers responded and after a short investigation, one person was arrested for attempted auto theft and trespassing. No loss or damage to vehicles has been reported at this time.

As a reminder, keep your vehicles locked and items of value out of view to minimize your chances of becoming a victim.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Judy Puckett Retires From the Department Today

Judy Puckett has been a dedicated employee of the Police Department since February of 1992. Prior to that, she was a bookkeeper for the City of Harrisonville, and a Loan Officer/Secretary for a federal agency that specialized in loans for farmers.

Judy has served in the Records Unit her entire career. She has performed so many different duties that it would be impossible to name them all. Most recently she has been responsible for the computer entry and removal of lost and stolen items, which requires meticulous follow up and tracking on each item. For a number of years as our Citizen Call-In Unit, she took police reports from citizens over the telephone.

Judy has a daughter, two grandsons, and her beloved dog Angel. She plans to spend her retirement painting, crocheting, and focusing on family.

Judy, thank you for nineteen years of commitment, loyalty, and dedication to the Overland Park Police Department and the citizens we serve. Your friends and coworkers wish you the very best.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Overland Park Detectives Recognized for Volunteerism

The Sunflower House, a non-profit children’s advocacy center that assists many law enforcement agencies with interviewing children involved in abuse cases, needed some help recently. The grounds crew that had been caring for the landscaping at Sunflower House was no longer able to do so and, as I am sure we all know, it doesn’t take long for things to become overgrown.

Detective Fizer and Detective Keating were recognized at the September 22nd Sunflower House luncheon for their efforts to help. In addition to Detective Fizer and Detective Keating, Detective Wedel, Detective Zickel and District Attorney’s Office Prosecutor Rasmussen gathered together and cleaned up the grounds.

All those involved in this effort, have not only dedicated their professional lives to helping others, but, when the need arose, generously gave of their personal time, as well. Great work by all.

For further information on the Sunflower House, check out their website.

Sunflower House

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Not Today

Cigarette thieves came up empty-handed thanks to an alert clerk. In the early morning hours of September 24, 2011 an employee working at a business in the area of 75th and Metcalf ran off two would-be cigarette thieves.

The clerk watched one man jump the counter and the other walk around to where the cigarettes are kept. He confronted the men who dropped the cartons of cigarettes and fled. The suspects ran from the store and the clerk chased them to the parking lot. The clerk obtained a vehicle description but was not able to get a tag number because the suspects backed away from him as they left. Both men fled in an older model white Chevy pickup truck.

One of the men was described as a black male in his mid 50`s. He had short black and grey hair and was wearing a blue shirt and glasses. The other suspect was described as a black male in his 20`s. He was wearing blue jean shorts and a black and red button up shirt with a white t-shirt underneath.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Overland Park Police Department at 913-344-8750

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Detectives Need Your Help

Our Investigations Division has released the following photos of two people they would like to identify. The two shown below are people of interest in a theft and credit card fraud case.

On September 24, 2011, the victim in this case was shopping at a local clothing store when her wallet was stolen from her purse. Later that same day her credit card was used at a store close to where her wallet was stolen.

These photos are high quality and anyone knowing these two people should be able to positively identify them.

Anyone with information on the identity of these people is asked to call the TIPS HOTLINE and 816-474-TIPS, or the Overland Park Police Departments Investigation Division at 913-344-8750.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Crimes Analysis Manager Gerry Tallman Retires

After 18 years of service Gerry Tallman retires today. Gerry came to the police department after retiring from the US Army in 1993 as a Lieutenant Colonel with 21 years of military service.

Just one week after retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel with 21 years’ service from the US Army, Gerry was hired by the Overland Park, Kansas Police Department to start the first ever Crime Analysis Unit in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. Under Gerry's leadership the Crime Analysis Unit grew in size and responsibility and contributed immensely to the overall success of the Police Department. The Unit quickly earned an international reputation as a leader in the field of crime analysis. In 1998, during a speech to a group of international law enforcement executives, US Attorney General Janet Reno identified the Overland Park Police Department's Crime Analysis Unit as a major contributor to the advancement of crime analysis and crime mapping.

Gerry and his wife Connie have two children and four grandchildren. Gerry and Connie will retire to their lake house at Lake Sherwood, MO where Gerry’s next adventure will be fishing and building antique reproduction furniture.

Gerry, thank you for eighteen years of commitment, loyalty, and dedication to the Overland Park Police Department and the citizens we serve. Your friends and coworkers wish you the very best in retirement.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Linda Smith Retirement


Linda M. Smith Retires From the Police Department


On Monday, September 26, Linda Smith will leave the Police Department and begin her well deserved retirement. Linda began her career with the city on May 8, 1990. She started as an Administrative Assistant in our Investigations Division, moved to our Administrative Services Division, and has been in the Police Administration Office for the last 10 years.

Together, Linda and her husband Lionel have four children and six grandchildren, the newest of which arrived within the last two months. Her new full time job will be focused around family.

Linda, thank you for twenty-one years of commitment, loyalty, and dedication to the Overland Park Police Department and the citizens we serve. Your friends and coworkers wish you the very best in retirement.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Success

A Kansas City man was recently convicted of robbing numerous businesses around the Kansas City Metro Area. Abasi S. Baker, was found guilty of 21 different counts associated to a series of Radio Shack and payday loan business robberies over a two month period.

Overland Park Detective Dave Zickel was assigned the Overland Park cases. He worked in conjunction with the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department, the Olathe, Kan., Police Department, the Johnson County Sheriff's Department, the St. Joseph, Mo., Police Department, the Lee's Summit, Mo., Police Department, the Mission, Kan., Police Department, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Through this combined investigative effort, five Overland Park robbery cases have been cleared. Also involved in this investigation were three robberies in Kansas City, Kansas, one in Mission, Kansas, and one in Olathe, Kansas. The Overland Park cases occurred between 1-9-11 and 3-3-11.

Sentencing for Mr. Baker will be in early December 2011. He may face a sentence of over 100 years in prison. The trial for a second person charged with these crimes is scheduled for mid-November.

Hard work and corporation equals success! Great work by all.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Help to Identify a Person

The Investigations Division has released photos from a recent robbery in hopes that this person of interest can be identified.

In the late evening hours of September 18th, officers responded to a robbery at a local restaurant on 75th Street. The suspect entered the business, insinuated he had a gun, and demanded money. The employee complied and after apologizing, the suspect left with an unknown about of cash.

The suspect was described as a white male in his forties with grayish brown hair, wearing a blue and white striped shirt, a tan trench coat, and a red hat. He was approximately 5`10" and 180-200 lbs.

No injuries were reported. The photos showing the man without the red hat and trench coat are from a visit to the store about an hour prior to the robbery.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Overland Park Police Department at 913-344-8750.







Monday, September 19, 2011

Bold Robbery at Customer Service

This is another case where good information provided quickly by witnesses lead to arrests. Just after 7:30 p.m. on Sunday September, 18th our 911 operators were contacted regarding a robbery that just occurred in the area of 117th and Metcalf Ave. The caller provided great suspect and suspect vehicle information.

The suspect was described as a heavy set black male, wearing a black wig, black coat, and jean shorts. Witnesses said he displayed a handgun at the customer service counter and demanded money from the register. The suspect vehicle was reported as a white Dodge Dakota and was last seen leaving northbound on Metcalf Ave from W 115th St.

Our dispatch center quickly alerted our officers in the field who located the suspect vehicle. Officers stopped the vehicle in the area of 112th Street and Metcalf Avenue. The driver exited the vehicle and was ordered to lie down in the grass. The passenger then slid over to the driver’s side and drove away.

Officers took the man still at the scene into custody, while two other officers contacted the second suspect who drove off. After fleeing, he was involved in an accident in the area of I435 and Metcalf. No injuries were reported, and the two suspects are currently at the Johnson County Jail awaiting their first appearance in court.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Getting to Know the Department

The School Resource Officer Unit

Lieutenant Erik Hulse currently works the midnight shift in the Patrol Division, but back in the fall of 1993, he was Overland Park’s first School Resource Officer (SRO). Since Erik’s start at Shawnee Mission North, the SRO Unit has grown to sixteen officers, who provide a law enforcement presence in nineteen middle and high schools in both major school districts, as well as a Catholic high school.

School Resource Officers perform the roles of teacher, counselor and law enforcement within their school communities. Some of the functions SRO’s involve themselves in include:

As visible, active law enforcement figures on campus dealing with any law or crime-related issues.

As classroom resources to instruct law-related issues including crime, alcohol and drug prevention.

Members of a faculty/administration team who work to solve school community issues.

Provide guidance to students, parents, and faculty on problems concerning mental health and child in need of care issues.

Officers strive to promote a better relationship between themselves and their students to achieve a better perception of law enforcement among young people through the roles listed above. Aside from the more obvious topics law enforcement officers educate about, the unit is fortunate to have officers trained in crime scene investigation, and accident and shooting reconstruction. During these presentations, officers focus on the application of school subjects such as the math sciences utilized in these processes.

Visibility is an important part of the program, both inside and outside of the school building. Officers perform their duties in full police uniforms and marked patrol cars and the visibility of both can be a deterrent to crime and violence within the schools.

Overland Park SRO’s not only investigate crimes occurring on campus, but also any school-related crime/incident involving school participants off campus. Through these investigations, SRO’s significantly minimize the time patrol officers and detectives spend on these incidents, keeping those personnel available to handle other matters.

School districts and the police department share in the funding of these positions and, like eighteen years ago when the SRO Unit was formed, our officers continue to be a welcome addition to their schools by students, parents, and school staffs.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cell Phone Burglaries and Now Tobacco—Holy Smokes!

Overland Park Police have now taken three burglary reports where cell phones were the target. They have all occurred in a seven-day period. The first occurred on September 7th, and the second occurred on September 12th. At this point, it is unknown if all three cases are related.

The latest incident occurred in the early morning hours of September 14th. Officers responded to a cell phone specialty store around 83th and Metcalf on an alarm.

When the officers arrived, they saw two people running from the area. Officers set up a perimeter and called one of our police dogs to track the suspects. Still, the burglars were not located. A stolen vehicle was located by one of the officers assisting in the search.

The owner of the business responded to the store and was able to determine that a number of cells phones and cigarettes were taken.

The limited suspect information is two males in light blue colored, zip up hooded sweatshirts. Both had a slim build and were between 5'9 and 6'. One had khaki-colored pants, and the other had dark-colored jeans.

The Investigations Division will analyze any available video footage to see if it can be used to assist in the identification of the suspects.

Anyone with information on these crimes is asked to call the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS.

Below is the still photo from the first incident showing a person we would like to identify.