Thursday, July 28, 2011

Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

Recently, an Overland Park resident requested the Overland Park Police Department to check on the welfare of an elderly friend. When officers arrived at her residence, they discovered her air conditioning was not working. Also, there was no food in the home and the resident said she had eaten her last meal the day before.

The officers immediately called Sgt. Cindy Henson with the department's Community Oriented Policing & Problem Solving (COPPS) Unit. COPPS Officers Theresa Poage and Ross Latta responded.

The COPPS Officers went well above and beyond normal means to assist this resident. They helped by facilitating the repair of her air conditioner. They also contacted a local food pantry, who agreed to stay open past their normal closing time to help. The COPPS officers even assisted the resident with making her bed. They also convinced the resident to accept assistance from Meals on Wheels.

This scenario is an example of some of the many problems our officers come into contact with everyday. Although we are not able to solve all the problems we encounter sometimes we are able to go the extra mile and make a difference.

Kudos to all of these officers who went above and beyond the normal expectations to assist an elderly resident in need.

The Police Department established the COPPS Unit in 1996 as a way to free up a few police officers to be able to assist with in-depth problems that require more time than a traditional patrol officer would have on a dispatched call.

Today COPPS Officers, which include our School Resource Officers, are assigned to one of four areas of the city. They maintain contact with apartment managers and community leaders in their area to assist with problems that arise such as codes issues, neighbor disputes, assisting the elderly, and assisting those with mental illness.