Friday, August 31, 2012

Overland Park Police Department’s Crime Blotter

Did you know you can check the Overland Park Police Department’s Crime Blotter each day? Every weekday morning after 7:00 a.m., there is a new Crime Blotter posting on the City’s Web Site.

The Blotter provides selected categories of Offenses from the past 24 hours. This is by no means all the crimes, but will allow residents to know what activity is occurring in their respective communities. Data provided for each alleged incident includes the location, date, time, and type of offense. Each reported incident is assigned a case number.

Please keep in mind that these reports contain preliminary information and the facts and circumstances of such reports may need further investigation, thus the classification could ultimately change as well.

To find the Overland Park Police Department’s Crime Blotter, please click on the following link:

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Be Safe on the Lakes this Holiday Weekend

Members of Overland Park’s Community Policing Division would like to pass along an important message to our residents regarding boater safety.

Labor Day is traditionally known as the “End of Summer”. Although Overland Park is not home to a large lake, many of our residents travel to local lakes to enjoy boating activities. Sometimes we need a reminder to be safe while enjoying “time on the water”. It only takes a moment to turn a time of fun with family and friends into a tragedy. Here are a few good tips to make sure your holiday is a safe one!

Alcohol is not a good mix when either driving a car or a watercraft. There are strict Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) and Driving Under the Influence (DUI) laws in both Kansas and Missouri. The US Coast Guard reports that alcohol use is the primary contributing factor of accidents and casualties in 2011. Enjoy the holiday, but do not operate a vehicle or a boat after consuming alcohol. The motion, vibration, wind, and sun can all accelerate a drinker’s impairment while out on the water.

Life jackets and personal flotation devices (PFDs) can save your life. Laws in Kansas require that children under the age of 12 must wear PFD while on-board a watercraft. It is a good safe practice to make sure everyone wears a PFD while out on the water.
If you are out on the water pulling someone on wake board, ski or tube, remember to designate someone as a “lookout”, and don’t forget to deploy a red or orange “Skier Down” flag when a person goes into the water. People often wonder about when or how to deploy the skier down flag, in Kansas the law states “the flag is to be raised immediately when a rider loses control of a tow rope and falls into the water. The flag is to be lowered once the towing resumes.” Missouri boating law is similar “A rectangular orange or red flag, at least 12 inches x 12 inches, must be displayed when the person is in the water before or after being towed. The flag should not be displayed while the motorboat is engaged in towing but should be displayed again when the towed person enters the water.”

It is your responsibility to know the boating laws and regulations of the waterway you are using! Several states require boating safety courses for persons born after January 1st, 1984, and most states restrict the operation of a boat or personal watercraft by those under the age of 14. Know the law and please be safe!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Overland Park Makes List of Annual "Allstate America's Best Drivers Report™."

Yesterday, the Allstate insurance company released its eighth annual list of the states with the best drivers. The report ranks the top 200 largest cities in the U.S. based upon claims data.

Overland Park ranked #29 on that list and Allstate says residents go an average of 11.3 years without an accident, which is 11.4% percent longer than the national average.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car crash fatalities are at the lowest level they've been since 1949, but still average more than 32,000 every year. Last year we came in at #34 and the average years between accidents was at 10.8.

This confirms our belief that we have people who drive their vehicles in a safe and responsible manner. While the results show we’ve made definitive progress over the last few years, the police department will continue to do its part to make the roadways of Overland Park as safe as they can be.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Nosy Neighbors can be a Good Thing

When you talk about “nosy neighbors” it’s generally considered to be an undesirable moniker placed upon people who like to pry into other peoples’ business.

In a lot of instances this is true, but from the police department’s perspective we think this can be somewhat of a good thing, when used in the right way of course.

Whether you live in an older, more established neighborhood or a brand new subdivision, chances are that there has, or will be, some type of crime occurring within the boundaries you call home.

The neighborhoods we’re discussing can be in a residential housing area, apartment communities, or even our hotel/motel businesses. These are all examples where crimes such as auto burglaries, auto thefts, vandalism, and residential burglaries can occur, day or night.

When it comes to “watching your neighbors”, the police department would like to ask everyone to be aware of what’s going on around them. This means keeping an eye on the vacant home across the street, suspicious people or vehicles in the neighborhood late at night, or watching out the window as some stranger is knocking on your neighbor’s door when you know they’re not home.

The police department has taken a couple of residential burglary reports recently that we believe began with a knock on the door, so paying attention to such activity can be helpful rather than intrusive.

These daytime burglaries are occurring when the occupants are gone and we believe the suspect will knock on the door to see if someone is at home. If no one answers, they will try to enter the home through a back door, if possible.

Last Friday morning officer’s responded to an attempted burglary of a residence where the homeowners were still inside the residence. The suspect apparently had rung the door bell an hour earlier before attempting to get inside the house. The suspect was scared away by the resident and left in a silver or gray four door vehicle, possibly a Pontiac.

This is just one example of the type of things to watch out for. Being a good neighbor is sometimes nothing more than looking out the window to see who’s knocking.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Results of the Driver Awareness Campaign

On August 22nd the Overland Park Police Department conducted a Driver Awareness Campaign. The event was conducted during a (6) hour period at various locations in our city. Most of the locations worked were High Accident Locations and Traffic Complaint Areas.

91 - Traffic Tickets

48 - Vehicles Stopped

  • Speeding – 36

  • Red Lights – 2

  • Seat belts (18+) – 21

  • Seat belts (-18) – 3

  • No Insurance – 16

  • Tag Violation – 1

  • Driving While Suspended – 1

  • Driver’s License Violation – 2

  • Illegal Turns – 9

  • Cut Through Private Property – 1
The next High Visibility Traffic Enforcement date is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, September 12, 2012. The primary goals of the monthly enforcement initiatives are to reduce accidents in these locations and to get drivers and passengers to buckle up.

Friday, August 24, 2012

How Many Officers Does it Take?

If your child is playing with the phone and accidentally dials 911, you may soon have four police officers standing at your doorstep. This might cause some to feel alarmed when they look out and see so much blue, but sometimes things are not always as they seem. With the addition of new police officers comes a training period. What used to be two officers responding to your home may now be two officers in training, followed by the two Field Training Officers.

When an officer graduates from the police academy they are not finished with their training…the real training has just begun. After reviewing city and department policies, and participating in defensive tactics training and firearms training, comes the field training. Each officer is subject to four phases of field training.

The first phase is four weeks in length with one Field Training Officer, or FTO. At the completion of this phase, the FTO will meet with the second phase FTO and discuss the trainee’s accomplishments, strengths, and weaknesses. The second and third phase are the same process and each last three weeks.

When the officer has made it past the third phase of training they go back to their first phase FTO for two weeks. During this fourth phase the FTO is only observing and the officer is to act is if they are a solo officer, asking questions of other officers and supervisors rather than their FTO.

After all four phases of the Field Training Program are successfully completed the officer can now be considered a solo officer and is then assigned a position in the Patrol Division.

The Overland Park Police Department currently has 15 FTO’s in the Patrol Division. They were selected from the Patrol Division based on their experience and ability to train and supervise a new officer. FTO’s teach a myriad of skills including how to drive in emergency situations, how to complete necessary paperwork, how to navigate the city, how to deal with problems that may arise, the proper procedures required on a day to day basis, and how to adjust to this life changing career.

Next time you see four officers approaching, you will know you are watching the beginning of something great…

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Consumer Scams and Frauds: Justin Bieber Tickets

On Monday August 20th, there were two walk-in station reports taken from victims of an apparent scam involving a concert at Sprint Center.

Both victims told us they responded to an ad on Craigslist regarding the sale of tickets to an upcoming Justin Bieber concert to be held in October.

A price was agreed upon and arrangements were made to meet the seller at a nearby location to make the exchange. The victims each paid $125.00 for the tickets and had no reason at the time to think the tickets were fake.

Later, when they got home and started examining the tickets further, they found the serial numbers to be the same. They contacted the ticket office at Sprint Center and received confirmation that the tickets were false.

There were originally three victims that came into the station to make a report, but one of the victims was sent to the Gardner Police Department because the transaction took place in that city.

There still may be additional victims involved with this scheme that have yet to be identified. We believe all three of the known victims were scammed by the same suspect. It is still unknown if there are other suspects out there as well.

Please use caution in the future by getting verification of the authenticity of concert tickets before buying from an individual seller.

The pictures above are one of the fake tickets purchased by the victims. The real tickets do not have a picture of Justin Bieber on them.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

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 suspects in an attempted armed robbery at a local jewelry store.

On Saturday August 18th, a white male displayed a handgun that he had in his waistband and threatened to harm the employee if he did not give him everything in the case.

The employee, who was in the process of putting some items in the case at the time, went ahead and locked the case instead. The would-be robber then ran from the store where he met up with another white male and together left the area in an unidentified dark four-door sedan. The second subject is believed to be the lookout.

Both suspects appeared to be in their mid to late 20’s and each had on very distinctive clothing that could possibly be some type of uniform. The suspect who entered the store was very short, about 165 pounds, wearing a long sleeve button-down black shirt and blue jeans, with lace up work boots. He also had a goatee and wore black glasses. The second suspect was dressed similarly and both men were described as wearing black “conductor –type” hats.

Please take a look at the attached photos. Anyone with information on these suspects or this crime is asked to call the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS or the Overland Park Police at 913-344-8750.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Gracious Community

On yesterday’s blog I shared with you the arrest of a bank robber in Overland Park and the assistance the public played in capturing our suspect just a few miles down the road from the crime scene.

A short time after the arrest was made and the information was made public, I was notified by one of the patrol sergeants that an anonymous citizen had dropped off a number of gift certificates to a local sandwich shop. The gift cards were to be shared with members of the department for their efforts in the arrest.

While the gesture was very gracious and exemplified the qualities that landed Overland Park on Money Magazine’s list of top-ten places to live, I elected to donate the gift cards to a local charity.

The citizens of Overland Park are very proud of their city and the employees who work here, but the city has adopted a strict gratuity policy which we believe protects both the citizens we serve and our employees as well.

None-the-less, the generosity, care and consideration the public has had for our officers has been consistently strong throughout my entire career, and contributes in a major way to the city and what it is today.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Observation, Communication and Teamwork

This morning at 10:09 a.m., Overland Park Police responded to a reported bank robbery at 9400 Antioch, Bank of the West. The information provided by witnesses to dispatchers was immediately relayed to responding officers who were near the area at the time the call came out.

Bank employees told police a man came into the bank and demanded money. The teller complied with the demand and the suspect left the bank headed in a westward direction. No one was injured during the robbery and no weapons were displayed.

Within approximately two minutes time, officers located a vehicle matching the description of the suspects heading west on 95th Street. A traffic stop was eventually made in the area of US69 Highway and W. 87th Street and a suspect was taken into custody without incident.

This is a good example of the importance of being an observant witness and the efficient communication that took place amongst all involved. This kind of success is also the result of having experienced and dedicated officers working the streets of Overland Park.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Education, Enforcement and Effort

If you’ve been a regular follower of this blog you would’ve noticed that the majority of the posts are usually something regarding traffic safety campaigns or driving while under the influence. Whether it’s a DUI check lane, saturation patrol, or one of our many traffic awareness campaigns, I firmly believe they’re making a positive difference within this community.

When I hear midnight officers telling me that the word is out not to drive drunk in Overland Park and how the number of people arrested for DUI have decreased, it reaffirms that our efforts to make the streets safer for everyone are paying off.
Not only have the number of DUI arrests gone down, the overall numbers of accidents have gradually declined over the last three years.
Let me assure you that we are still using the same resources that we have for the last five years or so, and the emphasis have not changed during that time. The key to our results have been the hard work by officers in this department and the ongoing enforcement and education campaigns.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Follow Up to Missing Person Case, David L. Dotson

On August 15, 2012, the Missouri State Highway Patrol was notified of a vehicle off the roadway in rural Bates County with a body inside. A trooper located the vehicle, a red 2004 Toyota Highlander, in a field near Route J east of Route Y outside Amsterdam, Missouri.

The body of a white male was found inside the vehicle and was identified as David L. Dotson, age 66. Mr. Dotson had been reported missing from Overland Park, Kansas since August 9, 2012.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control is handling the investigation. Foul play is not suspected in the death of Mr. Dotson.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

DUI Enforcement Campaign

The Overland Park, Kansas Police Department will be conducting a Labor Day “You Drink, You Drive, You Lose.” S.T.E.P. Campaign from August 16th, 2012 through September 3rd, 2012.

The program is sponsored by the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) and is being conducted with the principle focus on DUI enforcement. Officers working the grant will also be looking for speeding violations, seat restraint violations, and child seat restraint violations.

More than 10,000 police departments and law enforcement agencies across the country will support the campaign beginning August 16th and continuing through the Labor Day holiday weekend.

"Thanks to the dedication and hard work of law enforcement and safety partners like MADD, we've made significant progress in reducing roadway deaths in recent years,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "But drunk driving remains a serious, unacceptable threat to our families and our communities. Our campaign is clear – if you choose to drive drunk, you will be held accountable."

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Results of Recent DUI Check Lane

The Overland Park, Kansas Police Department and several Kansas police agencies conducted a DUI Check Lane on Friday, August 10, 2012. The DUI Check Lane was conducted with the intent to reduce alcohol related auto accidents and discourage impaired driving.

Please review the statistical results:

842 - Vehicles entered the Check Lane

50 - Drivers tested for DUI

2 - Drivers arrested for DUI

3 - Transporting Open Container (Alcohol)

2 - Minor in Possession (Alcohol)

1 - Other traffic violations

Monday, August 13, 2012

Help Find Missing Person David Dotson

The Overland Park Police Department is currently looking for a missing Overland Park resident. David Lee Dotson (W/M 66 years of age) has been missing from his home since the morning of Thursday, August 9th.

Mr. Dotson may be wearing blue jeans, a yellow polo style shirt, gray tennis shoes and glasses.

He is diabetic and is dependent on daily doses of insulin. Mr. Dotson drives a red 2004 Toyota Highlander with a Kansas Tag of 328 CGM.

On Saturday, a “Silver Alert” was issued on behalf of Mr. Dotson in an effort to alert media and the general public across the state of Kansas to be on the lookout for him or his vehicle.

Below is a recent picture of Mr. Dotson. Please call the Overland Park Police Department at 913-895-6300 or 911 if you see him.

Friday, August 10, 2012

What is Distracted Driving?

We frequently talk about the subject of “distracted driving” on this blog so we wanted to give you some helpful information on the subject.

In a recent study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University regarding multi-tasking while driving, they concluded that driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%.

According to the website, distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. These types of distractions include:

• Texting

• Using a cell phone or smartphone

• Eating and drinking

• Talking to passengers

• Grooming

• Reading, including maps

• Using a navigation system

• Watching a video

• Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

But, because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction.

Here are 10 tips from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) for managing some of the most common distractions.

Turn it off. Turn your phone off or switch to silent mode before you get in the car.

Spread the word. Set up a special message to tell callers that you are driving and you’ll get back to them as soon as possible, or sign up for a service that offers this.

Pull over. If you need to make a call, pull over to a safe area first.

Use your passengers. Ask a passenger to make the call for you.

X the Text. Don’t ever text and drive, surf the web or read your email while driving. It is dangerous and against the law in most states.

Know the law. Familiarize yourself with state and local laws before you get in the car. Some states and localities prohibit the use of hand held cell phones. GHSA offers a handy chart of state laws on its website:

Prepare. Review maps and directions before you start to drive. If you need help when you are on the road, ask a passenger to help or pull over to a safe location to review the map/directions again.

Secure your pets. Pets can be a big distraction in the car. Always secure your pets properly before you start to drive.

Keep the kids safe. Pull over to a safe location to address situations with your children in the car.

Focus on the task at hand. Refrain from smoking, eating, drinking, reading and any other activity that takes your mind and eyes off the road.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

DUI Check Lane August 10th, 2012

The Overland Park Police Department and several other Kansas police agencies will be conducting a DUI Check Lane on Friday, August 10, 2012. This task is being conducted with the goal of reducing alcohol related auto accidents and discourage impaired driving within our communities.

There will be a short briefing at the Sanders Justice Center, Overland Park, KS, prior to initiating the enforcement.

The Overland Park Police Department would like to encourage those who choose to drink be responsible and designate a driver, call a cab, or call a friend or family member.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Prostitution Sting Results in 9 Arrests

The Overland Park Police Department conducted a Vice Sting on Tuesday, August 7th, which resulted in the arrests of two prostituted women, and seven men for patronizing a prostitute.

The Overland Park Police Department’s Vice Unit is committed to making Overland Park an undesirable location for prostitution. To that end, the Vice Unit has partnered with other units within the Police Department, area law enforcement agencies, as well as hotel and apartment community management.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Safeguarding our Religious Institutions

In lieu of the recent events over the weekend in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and Joplin, Missouri, I’ve issued a directive to the members of the Overland Park Police Department to increase our patrol presence at our centers of worship in order to protect the citizens of this City.

The tragedies that took place in those cities are a reminder to everyone that the protection of our freedoms of religion, our right to free speech, our right to freedom of association, are some of our most traditional and cherished freedoms requiring both our attention, sensitivity, and sometimes our defense.

Yesterday I met with leaders from the affected religious communities to discuss with them ways to make sure we’re doing everything we can do to provide for their safety.

Although the recent attacks were on a Sikh Temple and a Muslim Mosque, I’ve also requested that all religious institutions throughout the City limits of Overland Park receive additional patrol and attention.

While I’ve asked the members of the police department to take extra measures to safeguard our religious establishments, I’m also asking members of the general public to be cognizant of suspicious persons or activities that they may be witness to. There’s a phrase that states “if you see something - say something” that I believe is a good reminder for all of us.

Together with everyone’s help and cooperation, we can continue to ensure Overland Park is still one of the safest cities to live in.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Results of DUI Saturation Patrol August 3rd & 4th 2012

The Overland Park, Kansas Police Department conducted a DUI Saturation Patrol on Friday, August 3rd into the early morning hours of Saturday, August 4th. This initiative was conducted with the intent to reduce alcohol related auto accidents and discourage impaired driving.

The DUI Saturation Patrol was in force between 10:00 PM and 2:00 AM.

4 DUI Arrests

4 Drivers tested for DUI

2 Drug Arrests

2 Warrant Arrests

5 Other Arrests

213 Vehicles Stopped by the Saturation Officers

219 Traffic Citations Issued

Friday, August 3, 2012

DUI Saturation Patrol Tonight

The Overland Park, Kansas Police Department is conducting a DUI Saturation Patrol on Friday, August 3, 2012. It is the police department’s goal to reduce alcohol related auto accidents and discourage impaired driving within its community.

The DUI Saturation Patrol will begin at 10:00 PM, and the enforcement will not end until 2:00 AM. The Traffic Safety Unit will hold a briefing at the Myron Scafe Building, 8500 Antioch, Overland Park, KS, prior to initiating the enforcement.

The Saturation Patrol will focus on major thoroughfares, highways and those areas which include drinking establishments. As we have mentioned in previous blogs, the Overland Park Police Department is committed to removing impaired drivers from our roadways. So far this year (end of June), 330 impaired drivers have been arrested.

Please don’t drink and drive. If you are out and choose to consume alcohol, call a taxi or have a sober designated driver.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Teens and Distracted Driving

The safety and security of all our citizens is of great importance to the Overland Park Police Department. Recently there have been some events which involved members of our teenaged community and the subject of distracted driving.

As most of you may already know, this is not just an Overland Park or Kansas City Metro problem, but something that has affected many families across the nation.

In its Summer 2012 newsletter, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), highlighted a recent study done by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which examined distracted driving among teenagers. Some of the results were not surprising, but there were a few things that raised eyebrows.

The report describes how distractions vary based on the presence of passengers, time of day, sex of the driver, and other potentially important factors. The study also provides some excellent insight into the increased crash risk for teenage drivers when carrying passengers.

The Article from the GHSA newsletter is included below as well as a link to the whole study from the AAA Foundation.

AAA Foundation Study Examines Teens and Distractions

A recent naturalistic study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety provides new insights into teen distracted driving behavior. The report, Distracted Driving Among Newly Licensed Teen Drivers, used in-car cameras to record teens in real-world driving situations.

The data for this report came from video clips collected as part of a three-phase study of 50 North Carolina families with novice teen drivers. Researchers at the UNC Highway Safety Research Center analyzed these clips to look for distracted behaviors and distracting conditions among teens during high g-force maneuvers (such as swerving, hard braking, or rapid acceleration). In all, 7,858 clips were recorded when a pre-determined g-force threshold was exceeded in the vehicle.

The footage from these clips showed that teen driver distractions vary by gender and other factors. Electronic devices were the most commonly observed distracted driving activity for all new teen drivers, observed in seven percent of the clips. Teen girls were twice as likely as their male peers to use their cell phone or other electronic devices while driving.

Potentially distracted behavior included adjusting controls (6.2%), personal grooming (3.8%), and eating or drinking (2.8%). Researchers found that many distracting behaviors – including use of electronic devices – were more common among the older teens. This suggests that teens begin to engage in more distracting behaviors as they become more accustomed to driving.

The number and type of passengers also affected the teen drivers’ behavior. With parents or other adults present, potentially distracting behavior decreased significantly. On the other hand, when more than one teen peer was in the car, loud conversation and horseplay were more than likely to occur, which were found to increase the likelihood of serious accidents or high g-force events.

AAA Foundation President and CEO Peter Kissinger states that, “This new study provides the best view we’ve had about how and when teens engage in distracted driving behaviors believed to contribute to making car crashes the leading cause of death for teenagers.”

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Child Passenger Seat Safety

According to the National Highway Travel Survey (NHTS), “Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children from 3 to 14 years old.”

Did you know that seven out of every ten car seats are improperly installed? With that in mind, it’s our responsibility as parents to make sure our children are properly restrained each and every time they ride in a vehicle.

On the first Wednesday of every month, the Overland Park Police Department conducts free child car seat safety inspections. These inspections are offered from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and will take approximately thirty minutes to complete.

A certified child passenger safety technician will make sure your seat is properly installed and will teach you how to do it yourself in the future.

To schedule an appointment, you can either go to or call 913-327-5677 ext. 6419.