Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Help For Stranded Motorists

This summer's heat wave has taken a toll on our lawns, pets and outdoor summer activities. The extreme temperatures have also taken a toll on our cars, trucks and SUV's. Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, are tough on engines, radiators and tires. As temperatures rise, your engine has to work a little harder. When this occurs, the chance of a breakdown increases. If you become stranded while traveling through Overland Park, an Overland Park Motorist Assist Officer may respond to help you.

The Overland Park Police Department's Motorist Assist Unit consists of three part-time and three volunteer Motorist Assist Officers. Motorist Assist Officers are available Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 11:30 am and 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Volunteer Motorist Assist Officers work varying hours.

In addition to providing a valuable service to our citizens and visitors to Overland Park, the use of volunteers and part-time non-police officers for this program greatly reduce the cost of this service. Prior to the motorist assist program, police officers responded to these calls, so the use of volunteers and others free up a police officer to answer other calls for service. As you can imagine, the cost of a police officer handling this call is more expensive than the use of volunteers and part-time non-police officer personnel. Also, the vans used by the motorist assist program are cheaper to equip and operate than a police patrol vehicle.

Motorist Assist Officers can help change a tire, provide you with enough gas to get you to a nearby gas station and assist you in calling for a tow truck. Also, the motorist assist vehicles have room to allow the stranded motorist(s) a place to get out of the elements whether it is the heat of the summer, cold of the winter or a driving rain. This is a little more comfortable than sitting in the back of a patrol car for the same reason. If you experience a breakdown in Overland Park, call 895-6300, the non-emergency number for the Overland Park Police Department.