Thursday, October 31, 2013

Vice Unit Nabs Seven in Sting Operation

On 10/30/13, the Vice Unit of the Overland Park Police Dept conducted a sting operation to identify and apprehend individuals who engage in selling, buying and promoting sexual relations inside the city limits of Overland Park. 

During this operation, the Vice Unit arrested four individuals for selling sexual relations, two for buying sexual relations, and one for promoting the sale of sexual relations. 

The Overland Park Police Department will continue to confront vice activity in its hotels, motels and apartment communities. 

Through these and other efforts, we expect to send the message that prostitution is not welcome in Overland Park.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Follow Up on Request For Identification

On Wednesday, October 16th, we posted the story below and asked our readers, along with the media, for help in identifying the suspect pictured below. On October 22nd, the suspect was arrested and will be charged in Johnson County District Court with one count of robbery.

We want to express our gratitude for the help we received which was instrumental in solving this case. 

The suspect should be considered innocent until proven guilty.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013
In Need of a Fix
Detectives are working a robbery case and hope you might be able to help identify the suspect. He entered the CVS store at 75th Street and Metcalf Avenue on Monday, October 14th, around 6:15 pm and demanded prescription drugs from the pharmacists. The pharmacists said the man displayed a gun and, assuming it was a serious threat, they gave him the medication.

The suspect seen in the picture below left the store without harming anyone, and we don’t want anyone hurt if he commits any future robberies. If you were in the area Monday and saw anything that could help with the investigation, or if you know the identity of the man in this picture, call the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS or the Overland Park Police Department at 913-344-8750.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

It Doesn’t Happen Like it Does on CSI

Crime scenes aren’t processed in five minutes, evidence isn’t reviewed in 10 and cases take longer than 54 minutes, with commercials, to solve.  Oh, and the scenes usually aren’t quite so dramatic, either.  Make no mistake, though, the job of an Evidence Technician, also known as a Crime Scene Technician or Investigator, is an important one.  It is also one of the most commonly stated goals of people looking to get into police work.

The Overland Park Police Department currently has 53 officers who are trained as evidence technicians.  They are able to process a scene and collect evidence found at any type of call.  To put it simply, this means they dust for fingerprints, collect DNA, take photographs, make moldings or castings of tire marks, pry marks or shoe prints, for example, and then package anything that is collected as evidence.  These are officers who work the street and answer calls for service that you see in a uniform everyday.  Their primary job is to work as a first responder, but they also have the skills set to be able to process a crime scene.

We have two Crime Scene Detectives who are available to respond to larger and more involved scenes that most likely will take more time to process or even require a diagram.  These detectives also take evidence back to the crime lab for further processing.  Items that require additional testing or analysis, such as DNA review, are sent to the Johnson County Crime Laboratory to be processed.

So how does one become an evidence technician or the coveted Crime Scene Detective?  The answer is both surprising and disappointing to some, but in Overland Park it means the candidate has to actually work as a uniformed police officer answering calls for service before moving onto Crime Scene Detective.  Every place has a starting point, though, and for those who want to solve mysteries or put puzzles together, there’s a goal to set and attain.

Monday, October 28, 2013

National Drug Take Back A Success

On Saturday, October 26th, the Overland Park Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) conducted another Take Back event. In an effort to prevent pill abuse and theft, they provide safe disposal of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs to residents of the city.  

This was the seventh Take Back event we've participated in over the last three years and the number of prescription drugs turned in to the Overland park Police Department during that time period has now totaled a massive 4,851 pounds. On Saturday, we filled 76 boxes with unwanted medication which tipped the scales at just over 1500 pounds.

Last April, Americans turned in 371 tons (over 742,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners.  In its six previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 2.8 million pounds—more than 1,400 tons—of pills.

The DEA is in the process of approving new regulations that implement the Safe and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” (that is, a patient or pet or their family member or owner) of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them.  The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Don’t Forget

A quick reminder that tomorrow, October 26th, is the Prescription Drug Take Back event.  This is our second and last drug take back event for the year.  We will be partnering with the DEA to help you properly dispose of medications.

This will take place between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm and drop offs are available at any of the following locations:

8500 Antioch Rd – Overland Park Police Department
12400 Foster St – Overland Park Police Department
7000 W 75th St – Price Chopper
6800 W 95th St – Recycling Extravaganza (opens at 8am)
7101 College Blvd – Medtrak Services
7418 W 119th St – Price Chopper
6900 W 135th St – Hen House
11700 W 135th St – Price Chopper
7201 W 151st St – Price Chopper

Thank you in advance to anyone who takes advantage of this service.  You are, in away, helping to prevent drug abuse.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Quick Thinking and a Safe Landing

When officers are dispatched to a call for service, that call for service is classified by category.  Those categories cover just about anything you could imagine from a fire call to a lost child.  One category the officers very rarely see is “Plane”, but one of those calls came out yesterday afternoon.

Just after 3:00 pm yesterday, Overland Park dispatch received a call about a helicopter that crashed in the area of 135th Street and Nall.  Officers located the helicopter in question in the new Prairie Fire construction area.  Thankfully, it was not “crashed” as one might think.

Officers learned that the crew on board was in the area obtaining video for a news story. While they were in the air they had mechanical issues.  The crew made the decision to land the helicopter in an open area to investigate.  While the landing was probably not as smooth as they would have wanted it to be, they were able to touch down without any injuries and only minor damage.

Representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration checked the helicopter and determined it would be unable to fly from the area.  It was removed today via a tow truck, of all things.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It Wasn’t the Cheshire Cat

He (or she) should have taken a page out of the Cheshire Cat’s playbook and been a little wittier and flashed that Cheshire Cat grin if he wanted to get the attention of one Overland Park resident.  Instead he (or she) scratched or bit our victim on the leg before running off.  The problem now is she’s been exposed to everything that cat could be carrying, and that includes rabies.

When we take a report of an animal bite or scratch where the skin is broken, there’s always a chance that our victim of that incident may have been exposed to something like rabies.  When we don’t have the offending animal, it leaves that question unanswered. 

Rabies infects the central nervous system and is usually fatal, even in humans.  That means our victim has to make a decision to roll the dice on a rabies exposure or start getting a series of shots as a preventative measure.  Most people don’t care to have needles stuck into them unnecessarily, so we want to try to find this cat.

The incident took place in the 8300 block of Antioch Road around 10:15 AM.  The cat is described as black and white with long, "fluffy" hair.  

If you have any information regarding this feline, please call the Overland Park Police Department at 913-895-6300.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

High Accident Locations Through September 30th

The 3rd quarter comparison numbers are out.  Some have gone up, a few have gone down, but for the most part the locations have remained the same.  We’re talking about the top 10 High Accident Locations throughout Overland Park.  Now that doesn’t mean these are the most dangerous intersections, by any means.  Most of the reported crashes at the intersections were minor rear-end collisions.   In fact, if you notice, most of them are at major interchanges.  And many of them can be attributed to drivers attempting to make a right without realizing that the vehicle in front of them also attempting to make a right turn on red actually stopped and did not complete the turn.  That’s why it’s important to always look in the direction you are driving.
We always remind people that factors such as road construction, detours and even new businesses will sometimes impact the number of reported collisions.  Two locations that are on list below are good examples of just that.  435 Highway & Quivira and 435 Highway & Antioch have long been high accident locations.  You can see both of these have had a significant drop.  We would like to say it is solely because of enforcement and education efforts made by the officers, but, the other fact is that construction has started to wrap up at both of these locations.  In contrast, 95th Street & Antioch has seen a considerable jump.  What caused that?  If you look there, you’ll find recent road construction and new development in the area that has increased traffic flow.
Winter is approaching and hazardous driving conditions are around the corner.  Regardless of where your route takes you, remember to use safe driving habits. Eliminate distractions, maintain safe following distances, watch where you are going and adjust your speed according to the laws and conditions of the roads. 
% Change
135 ST / US69 HWY
151 ST / US69 HWY
I435 HWY / US69 HWY

Monday, October 21, 2013


Carve the pumpkin, stuff the scarecrow and find that perfect costume.  It’s time for the ghosts, goblins and witches to come for a visit.  That time of year that most children will claim is one of the favorites, and maybe a few dentists will, too.  For police officers, it’s a time to remind everyone of a few safety tips. So here goes:

  • While kids might want to pretend to be invisible, choose costumes that make them stand out.  Add reflective strips to trick or treat bags, shoes and places on the costume to make sure they don’t blend into the shadows.
  • Check those costumes, masks and footwear for fit.  Costumes that are too long or footwear that’s too big can cause trip hazards.  Masks can create blind spots that prevent kids from clearly seeing what is going on around them.
  • Supervision is as important now as ever.  Stay with your children as they make their rounds.  If older children are going out by themselves, pick a mandatory route and a time when they are expected to return home.
  • Make sure you have flashlights and cell phones with good batteries.
  • Stay on the sidewalks whenever possible.  When going from door to door, don’t run between houses or through the shadows.  It’s not just about being respectful, it’s also about avoiding trip hazards the kids might not see.
  • When crossing streets, do so in a group.  Look both ways and cross streets at established cross walks or at corners.  Don’t dart out between cars.  Never assume the cars traveling on the roadway see your trick or treater.
  • Stay in well lit areas and avoid dark homes that obviously don’t want to participate in the evening’s activities.
  • Sort through the candy you receive before allowing the children to start indulging.  While tampering with candy really doesn’t happen often, there’s always a chance. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Make sure your children stay away from lit candles and luminaries on porches.
  • Talk with children about your family plan for what to do if they get separated from you or their group.
We also found one piece of advice for pet owners who are passing out goodies while browsing a few resources– make sure your pets are restrained so they don’t jump on- or worse- bite a trick or treater. This will also assure your dog or cat won’t run out the door and have a mean “trick” played on them or be given an unhealthy treat.

Here’s to a safe Halloween for you and your little ghost or goblin!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Training Day

There’s a lot of noise going on across the hall from the Chief’s office this week.  It may be loud, but it’s for good reason.  You see, commissioned police officers in the State of Kansas are required to participate in a minimum of 40 hours training annually to maintain their commissioned status. Some topics of the training are mandatory.  

Training throughout the year covers topics such as legal updates, non-biased policing, tire deflation devices and active shooter scenarios.  This week the training consists of DUI investigations, weapons retention, arrest and detention, and a safety officer drill.

The concept of ongoing education isn’t a foreign one.  Many professions suggest, and some require, ongoing education at some level.  When you consider that criminals and crime trends are always changing, learning about those changes is more than just important, it’s a necessity.

The idea is to keep the officers prepared to respond to anything.  From the basic civil matter service call to a crisis situation, they have to be prepared to evaluate a situation quickly, solve problems and have all the other skills and knowledge necessary to get the job done, whatever that may be.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Where There’s One – There are Usually Two

Cooler temperatures, trees changing colors, football season starting---it all means fall is rapidly approaching.  That also means deer will be starting to move about a little more.  Since they aren't very good about looking both ways before crossing the street, it’s up to drivers to avoid car-versus-deer accidents.
 If you have never seen what happens when a vehicle and a deer collide, take it from us, it can result in extensive damage to both vehicles and living creatures.  In 2012 Overland Park police took 59 accident reports involving animals.
With that said, here are a few tips to help you avoid crashing into Bambi or a member of his family:
*Scan the road while you are driving, but pay particularly close attention around sunrise and sunset.  Not only are these times when deer are most active, but the lighting at dawn and dusk can make visibility even more of a challenge.

*Use high beams for nighttime driving, when possible.  The roadway shoulder areas will be more visible.  Don’t forget, though, to dim your high beams as you approach other motorists.

*Pay attention if you see other drivers slowing or flashing their high beams.  They may be trying to tell you there’s a deer ahead.

*Remember that deer frequently travel in pairs, or even larger groups.  Just because you miss one, that doesn't mean you should put your guard down. There could be more in the area.

*Know when you shouldn't swerve.  This one is important because some accidents, like the fatality accident Overland Park officers worked a few years ago on Quivira, happen when a driver swerves to avoid a deer and then loses control of the vehicle and strikes something else.  In most cases, it’s better to brake firmly and try to minimize a potential impact than it is to swerve.

If you do find yourself involved in an accident with a deer, make sure that no one, other than the deer, is injured.  Call police to let them know you have been involved in an accident.  If arrangements need to be made to put the deer down or remove the deer from the roadway an officer will be dispatched.  This will give you a chance to make an accident report, or you can walk in an accident report later, if that is more convenient.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

In Need of a Fix

Detectives are working a robbery case and hope you might be able to help identify the suspect.  He entered the CVS store at 75th Street and Metcalf Avenue on Monday, October 14th, around 6:15 pm and demanded prescription drugs from the pharmacists.  The pharmacists said the man displayed a gun and, assuming it was a serious threat, they gave him the medication.

The suspect seen in the picture below left the store without harming anyone, and we don’t want anyone hurt if he commits any future robberies.  If you were in the area Monday and saw anything that could help with the investigation, or if you know the identity of the man in this picture, call the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS or the Overland Park Police Department at 913-344-8750.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Don’t Let Them Circle the Drain

Don’t let them circle the drain.  Did that catch your attention?  If you’re reading this, you had to be a little bit curious, which is a good thing. If you didn’t already know, disposing of your old prescriptions improperly by flushing them can have negative effects on our environment. All those meds go right into our water system and just MAYBE your neighbors don’t need your outdated antibiotics.

Keeping them in the house could be tempting to young children and become a poison hazard. Some teens take their parents’ prescription medicines to school and sell them to classmates. But those scenarios don’t have to happen.

The Overland Park Police Department will be partnering with the DEA for this year’s second Prescription Drug Take Back event on Saturday, October 26th, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  You may take prescription items for drop off at any of the following locations:

8500 Antioch Rd – Overland Park Police Department
12400 Foster St – Overland Park Police Department
7000 W 75th St – Price Chopper
6800 W 95th St – Recycling Extravaganza (opens at 8am)
7101 College Blvd – Medtrak Services
7418 W 119th St – Price Chopper
6900 W 135th St – Hen House
11700 W 135th St – Price Chopper
7201 W 151st St – Price Chopper

Proper disposal of medications can help prevent drug abuse.  It also keeps you from flushing those old meds and sending them to the great beyond like Goldie the dead gold fish, which, after doing a little checking, it turns out, is also bad for the water supply and can spread disease.

So make plans to clean out your medicine cabinets and drop off any unused prescriptions to one of the Take Back locations.

Monday, October 14, 2013

At Least it Wasn’t Hoffa

1-800-Dig-Safe probably couldn't have predicted this.  Who could have?  It’s not like one expects to find a live artillery round when trying to plant flowers, but that’s exactly what one homeowner found Saturday.

We received a call that a homeowner and his wife were in the process of doing work on a flower bed when they uncovered a large artillery round next to the foundation of their home.  An officer was dispatched who determined the bomb squad might be better prepared to assess the round to see if it was still “live”.  The bomb squad members took an x-ray of the round and found out the projectile was, in fact, still live.

Things that could go boom in a neighborhood are not good.  The round was recovered by bomb squad and military personnel and safely disposed of. How it got there is anybody’s guess.

 And the homeowner? He went back to planting flowers. They also were “live”, by the way, and, hopefully, will burst into color next spring.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Update on October 1st Blog

On October 1st we posted a blog to let you know about an overnight shooting that took place in the 10000 block of Kessler Street.  An eight-year-old boy was struck after someone opened fire on a home.  The child’s injuries are not life-threatening and he is expected to make a full recovery.

To follow up that blog we wanted to let you know that on Thursday, October 10th, the Overland Park Police Department, along with a collaborative effort from the US Marshall's Office, arrested Phillip Ricardo Bennett (B/M, 09/20/86), in connection with the shooting.

Phillip Ricardo Bennett should be presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Setting a Not-So-Good Example

When an adult is with juveniles, whether in private or public, it’s the adult’s responsibility to set a good example.  While what constitutes a good or bad example can be a matter of personal opinion, most would probably agree that acting out and then allowing a theft to occur doesn’t fall into the “good example” category.  That’s exactly what happened at an Overland Park retail store last month.

On September 10th, 2013, around 8:30 pm, an adult female and two teenage girls entered a retail store in the 9000 block of Metcalf Avenue.  According to employees, the three browsed the store and selected merchandise for a short time before one of the teenagers pushed a cart full of merchandise out the door. The second teenager followed with several high-end handbags on her arm. 

What about the adult in all this?  Well, she didn’t pay for the items and she didn’t stop the teenagers from leaving the store, either.  Instead, she followed them out of the store, got into a vehicle with them and left the store without returning any of the merchandise. The adult was setting a poor example as well as committing a crime.

The adult was described as a black female, around 30 to 40 years old, 5’04” tall, about 145 lbs with black hair.  The juveniles were described as black females, 15 to 16 years old.  One wore a pink shirt and the other wore a purple shirt.

The trio left the area in a white 1997 to 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee that was described as having gold rims and gold trim.  It displayed a Kansas license plate that started “1G”.

Detectives are working on the case with the goal of holding all parties accountable for their bad choices.  Please take a look at this picture and see if you can help.  If you think you can identify this female, contact the Overland Park Police Department at 913-344-8729.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Ready? Brake!

“Towards Zero Fatalities”.  That will be the catch phrase for October 10th’s Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day.  It’s more than just a catch phrase though.  It’s a goal.

Statistics provided by the Department of Transportation show that there are around 32,300 fatalities a year in the United States.  That comes out to about 90 a day and one every 16 minutes.  To go one day without any traffic fatalities would make for a great day.

The Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day Program began in 2001.  With traffic crashes usually being preventable in some way, the goal of reducing the number of fatality crashes is possible, but we all have to do our part.

Remember those basics about safe driving and make them habits.  Try to eliminate the distractions when possible, buckle up and drive defensively.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Who Turned the Lights Out?

Traffic runs smooth when the traffic signals are working, but when they don’t, people sometimes get impatient or forget some of the basic rules of the road.  Today, around 1:50 pm, Overland Park dispatchers started to receive calls about a power outage that caused the power to go out at homes, businesses and traffic signals.

The affected area is from Quivira to Lamar, 135th Street to 143rd Street.  Overland Park officers are responding to some of the major intersections to assist with traffic control.  Please remember to treat all intersections normally controlled by traffic signals as four-way stops until repairs are made.

Kansas City Power and Light has been contacted.  They are in the process of addressing the outage at this time.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Got Your Goat

No, they got a City of Overland Park’s goat.  And then they, whoever they happens to be, turned that goat loose at a high school, presumably as a prank.

This past Sunday, Overland Park officers responded to the call of a loose goat at one of the high school properties.  The goat was found to be actually stuck in a fence and had to be freed.  No, not secured in a fenced in area, stuck – in a fence.

The goat was identified to be a kid (baby goat) named Kale from Overland Park’s Deanna Rose Farmstead.  A Farmstead employee came to pick up Kale and return him to his home.

Funny right?  Maybe a little, but illegal too right?  Absolutely.  This little prank could lead to big trouble for the pranksters.  There are some pretty serious crimes that can be attached to this prank, everything from burglary and theft to animal cruelty.  That might be something to consider before trying this one again.

This one doesn’t just end with the goat returning home.  It will be worked just as any other investigation with officers and detectives reviewing evidence and the possibility of charges being filed.

Friday, October 4, 2013

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The words "domestic violence" are very familiar to all of us in some way or other. Virtually everyone who works in the law enforcement field has witnessed up close the devastating effect it can leave on individuals and families. 

The sad truth is that it really doesn't matter what you do for a living or where you live, because domestic violence crosses every socio-economic boundary. We have all been exposed to this blight that was once deemed by society to be a private matter best hidden behind closed doors.  

Physical, verbal, psychological, emotional and sexual attacks are all forms of domestic violence. Any of these can be perpetrated on both male and female victims in a relationship. 

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 52% of domestic violence homicides are committed by a girlfriend/boyfriend or a spouse. Most victims of domestic violence in Kansas are white females between the ages of 20 and 24, while most offenders are white males between the ages of 20 and 24. Most often, the offender is the spouse/ex-spouse or boyfriend/ex-boyfriend of the victim. 

In our state, the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV) has been one of the leading organizations to raise awareness of  sexual and domestic violence. Visit the above link to find out more information on ways you can help prevent domestic violence.  

The Kansas Crisis Hotline: 1-888-363-2287 

The Kansas Crisis Hotline is a toll-free, 24-hour state-wide hotline linking victims of domestic violence and sexual assault to local services.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Distracted for a Moment

Who would think that a conversation about cakes would end up with over $3000 in credit card charges?  Most wouldn’t think so, but this call takes the cake. 

On September 22, 2013 around 3:00 pm a shopper at a local grocery store in Overland Park was approached by two black females.  The females struck up a friendly conversation with her about cakes and then left.  A short time later when the shopper attempted to pay for her groceries she found her wallet missing from her purse.  It didn’t take long to find out that while she was distracted by that conversation about cakes a third female removed her wallet from her purse. 

This is where it becomes a headache for our shopper.  Within a very short amount of time her credit cards were used to purchase over $3000 in gift cards from other retail establishments.

Overland Park police were called to investigate.  The investigating officer was able to review video from both the grocery store and the other retail business.  It turns out the same females that were seen talking with the shopper were seen using her credit cards. 

Video surveillance can be a great tool, especially when the photos are good.  In this case we’ve got decent photos, but we need your help.  See if you recognize any of the females shown in the photos below. 

Female One was a black female who appeared to be in her 20’s, heavy set, with shoulder length hair.  She is wearing a long sleeve gray shirt and tight black pants.

Female Two was a black female who appeared to be in her 20’s, heavy set, with shoulder length hair.  She is wearing a full length pink and purple dress and a blue jean jacket.

Female Three was also a black female who appeared to be in her 20’s, heavy set, with long hair.  She is wearing a white t-shirt, athletic shorts, carried a black purse and wore glasses. 

And one more thing, it turns out these three aren’t new to this.  The Olathe Police Department is working a very similar case with three females that have a very similar description. 

Anyone with information on the identity of these people is asked to call the Overland Park Police Departments Investigation Division at 913-344-8750.