Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Need Assistance in Locating Vehicle Involved in a Hit and Run Accident

The Overland Park Police Traffic Safety Unit is asking for assistance in locating a vehicle involved in a Hit and Run crash from earlier today. The accident occurred in the westbound lanes of I-435 Highway between Nall and Lamar at approximately 2:12 pm.

The suspect vehicle is dark in color and should have damage along the passenger side. This car was last seen heading westbound on I-435.

The victim's vehicle, a silver Mitsubishi Eclipse, struck a retaining wall causing it to roll several times. The driver of that vehicle was ejected but is expected to survive her injuries.

Anyone with information on the suspect vehicle should contact the Overland Park Police Department or the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Celebrate the New Year Responsibly

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.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that fireworks were involved in an estimated 11,400 injuries treated in emergency rooms in 2014. Some of the most common injuries seen in emergency rooms are caused by sparklers and bottle rockets. Fireworks can also ignite fires because of the recent drought conditions.

Please consider this our 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 we 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.

To answer the question of: Where do bullets go when guns are fired straight up into the air? The folks at www.howstuffworks.com offered the following insight to that question.
 
The saying "What goes up must come down" is an appropriate starting point. If you fire a gun into the air, the bullet will travel up to a mile high (depending on the angle of the shot and the power of the gun). Once it reaches its apogee, the bullet will fall. Air resistance limits its speed, but bullets are designed to be fairly aerodynamic, so the speed is still quite lethal if the bullet happens to hit someone. In rural areas, the chance of hitting someone is remote because the number of people is low. In crowded cities, however, the probability rises dramatically, and people get killed quite often by stray bullets.

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.

The Overland Park Police Department will be out in force to make sure everyone has an enjoyable, but safe, New Year's Eve celebration

Monday, December 29, 2014

New Year’s Eve Saturation Patrol

The Overland Park Police Department is conducting a DUI Saturation Patrol on Wednesday, December 31, 2014. 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 E. Scafe Building, 8500 Antioch, prior to initiating the enforcement.

Through November of this year, 617 tickets have been issued to drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while operating a vehicle.

Please take a few moments to think twice before you get behind the wheel after having a few too many drinks. Making the decision to drive while under the influence puts you at risk, as well as others whose paths you may cross.

A court fine for driving under the influence costs around $500. However, that single ticket may be way more costly because of other non-city associated expenses including hiring an attorney, the possibility of lost wages, treatment costs and increased automobile insurance due to high-risk issues. Overland Park Municipal Court officials have estimated total dui-related expenses can be as high as $10,000.

Be smart on New Year’s Eve. Don’t drink and drive. If you must drink, designate someone to drive who will not be consuming alcohol or drugs.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Things That Go BOOM In the Night

Recent comments to the city’s Twitter account regarding loud explosions during the night time hours prompted us to do a little research here in the public information office.  While there wasn’t a specific call for service about last night’s referenced incident, previous incidents have mentioned powerful types of explosions beyond that of normal small fireworks and these seem to be coming from the same general area.  No one likes a rude awakening, and if it’s happening repeatedly, well, then we need to try to make sure it’s being addressed.  Since we haven’t been able to speak directly to the person who was spreading their own type of Christmas Joy last night, we thought we’d just send out this informational blog for all to see.
 
Now, on fireworks, they are illegal in Overland Park.  That’s nothing new and if that was all we had to say, this blog would be done.  But, you know we’d come up with something a little more interesting than that for you to read.  See while doing that research about any calls we’ve taken for “fireworks complaints” or “shots fired” type incidents, we also came across two recent reports for mailboxes that were damaged by what appears to be some type of large firework and that is definitely worth covering.  Especially if the two damaged mailboxes are related in any way to the complaints regarding fireworks and booms in the night.
 
Blowing up a mailbox, for lack of a better way of putting it, might seem like childlike fun, but it has very serious types of consequences.  Those consequences are outlined on the US Postal Inspection Service website, but in short, “mailboxes are considered federal property, and federal law makes it a crime to vandalize them… violators can be fined up to $250,000, or imprisoned for up to three years, for each act of vandalism.”  What?  You thought it was a simple misdemeanor criminal damage to property?  No, sorry, the criminal damage property code starts out, “…by means other than by fire or explosives…”
 
So we send this word of warning out to the nocturnal person or persons who have enjoyed the sounds of their own made thunder in the late night and wee morning hours – Your neighbors don’t like it and we are telling them right now to call us when it happens, every time if they have to.  And to the person or persons who might have thought it was "just a mailbox", well, we would like to remind you that we at the Overland Park Police Department are a pretty big deal, but the US Postal Inspection Service is a federal agency and any report we take about these damaged mailboxes, we’ll be letting them know about.
 
Be safe out there and if we don’t mention it again before then, Happy New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Watch Out for This Green Lincoln

This morning we received a call from several witnesses who stated they observed three to four blacks males crawling underneath cars in the parking lot. The suspects were seen driving around in a sage-green four-door vehicle, possibly a Lincoln with a sunroof. They were wearing dark clothing and ski masks.

Officers discovered there were three victims at that location who were now missing the catalytic converters from their cars.

That particular vehicle was also seen on two other dates this month which resulted in another six victims along the Metcalf corridor. Suspects in those thefts are described as three black males wearing all dark clothing. The driver of the suspect vehicle had a full beard and one passenger was wearing a black ski mask. 


 Please be on the lookout for this vehicle prowling through the busy parking lots. Please don't approach them but rather call us as soon as you see it.



Friday, December 19, 2014

PD Unveils New Motorist Assist Vehicles

If you ever become stranded with a disabled vehicle while traveling through Overland Park, an Overland Park Motorist Assist Officer may dispatched to help get you back on your way.

Back in July, the City Council approved the purchase of two motorist assist vehicles that had been long overdue for replacement. One of them was due to be replaced because of mileage, age and condition. The other one was destroyed after catching fire while working out on the highway last summer.

The first unit, a Ford F-250, was recently put into service and is certainly an upgrade compared to what was used prior. The biggest difference you'll see right away is the large arrow board mounted to the back. This greatly improves the visual presence of the unit, and provides an increased safety barrier for everyone involved on the side of the road.

The Overland Park Police Department's Motorist Assist Unit consists of four part-time and one volunteer Motorist Assist Officers. Motorist Assist Officers are usually 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 reduces 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.

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.

 
Old Style Motorist Assist Unit

New Model
 


 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cold Weather and Pets - What to Know

With the onset of colder weather that has arrived in the area, the Overland Park Animal Control Unit would like to remind citizens that it is crucial to take extra precautions for the safety of their pets. The colder weather makes it harder for these animals to get along outside without proper protection. With proper planning and a few simple steps, we can assure the safety of our furry friends.

1. If they are a longer-haired breed, leave their coat longer as it acts as an insulator to the cold. If they are a shorter-haired breed, consider putting a sweater or similar item on them for added warmth.

2. Provide your animal with adequate shelter that is well insulated, dry and draft free. The floor should be elevated and covered with straw and large enough for the pet to turn around in, but small enough to retain your pets body heat. The entrance should be blocked from any type of breeze.

3. Provide your pet with more food for the added calories that it requires to be outside in the cold weather. The older the animal the more difficult it is for them to adapt to the cold.

4. Ensure that there is access to fresh water. Consider using a heated water bowl or have the water in an area that is less prone to freezing. Check this often.

5. Make sure the area your pet is remains free from snow or ice and allows them room to move freely with unobstructed access to food and water.

6. Be mindful that cats are particularly susceptible to the cold and will find anywhere warmer to curl up in. If there are outdoor cats in your neighborhood, bang loudly on the hood of your vehicle before starting it to give the cat a chance to escape.

7. Understand that certain types of rock salt can be very irritating to the paws of your pets, and some ice melts will even create wet areas that are not ideal for your pet to ingest. Make sure to dry off their fur and paws when they come inside to prevent the transfer of these chemicals when they lick their fur/paws. 

8. Keep an eye on your pets for any changes in behavior or movements if they are outside in the cold for a long periods of time. Take them to a veterinarian if you suspect they are ill or not recovering from the cold when back indoors.

9. Dogs and cats can be kept outside as long as their basic needs are being met. This includes the items listed above, food, adequate shelter and unfrozen water.

10. The City of Overland Park requires all owned dogs and cats to be registered. This helps us reunite the owner and the pet should it ever get lost or injured.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Dog Bite- Request for Information on Owner

UPDATE: We've located the owner of the dog and it is now confined for a ten day observation period. Thanks for everyone's help to spread the word.


The Overland Park Police Department/Animal Control Unit would like your assistance in locating a dog involved in a reported dog bite. The incident took place on one of the practice fields at Shawnee Mission North High School (7401 Johnson Drive). This occurred today (12/10/14) at approximately 6:45 this morning.

The male victim said he was walking to school when he was bitten in the thigh area by a loose, medium-sized dog (50lbs), with short brown hair and pointed ears.

The dog's owner wasn't made aware by the victim that her dog had bitten him. The owner is described as a white female in her 40's, wearing a scarf and a brown hat.

If anyone has information on the owner of this dog, please contact the Overland Park Police Department at 913-895-6300.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Operation Rudolph

REMINDER: Event is this Friday On Friday December 12th, 2014 at 1:00 P.M., an information meeting will be held at the Myron E. Scafe Police Building at 8500 Antioch to conduct a pre-event briefing.

The Police Department is honored to be a part of "Operation Rudolph" for the third consecutive year. With the help of our Community Partners, we have given hope and provided necessities to over sixty families during the past three Holiday seasons. It is our goal this year to continue to serve this mission by providing gift cards and food items to more than 20 deserving families.

Target Corporation has generously donated $1,500 toward our gift card goal of $4,350. In addition to gift cards, we also provide a food basket containing everything necessary for a complete Holiday meal. The Johnson County Chapter of the NAACP is our key partner in providing the food baskets.

Watch the story below and see how OPPD is making a difference.

 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Follow Up - Release of Suspect's Name in Last Night's Shooting

The suspect from last night's shooting is identified as 44 year-old Keith D. Angell (w/m 06/09/70). He was transported to an area hospital and is still listed in critical condition this morning.

Angell was being sought by the Fugitive Apprehension Task Force for multiple felonies at the local and state levels.

The Fugitive Apprehension Task Force is responsible for apprehending and removing the most egregious and violent offenders from our communities.

This case is still under active investigation by the Overland Park Police Department and more information will be released at a later time.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

OPPD Investigating Officer Involved Shooting at 105th and Metcalf


IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 3, 2014

Members of the US Marshall's Fugitive Apprehension Team was conducting a Task Force Investigation on a subject in the area of 105th and Metcalf. While attempting to take the suspect into custody, shots were fired and the suspect was hit.

No officers were injured.

 
The suspect was taken to an area hospital and his current condition is unknown.

The investigation is on-going and no other information is available at this time.

Who Am I?

We pose this question to our readers simply because we would really like your help to figure out why the female picture below is using someone else's credit card to purchase gift cards at area retail stores.

The credit cards were taken during a recent residential burglary in the 6100 block of W. 67th Street.

The suspect is described as a white female, with brunette hair. On that date she was wearing a long-sleeved blue shirt with horizontal white stripes, blue jeans and dark colored sunglasses.

The suspect was with another white female and both of them left in what appears to be a white 2011-2014 Kia Optima.

Please take a look at the attached photos. Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to call the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS or the Overland Park Police at 913-344-8750. Please reference case number 2014-017973.



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Results From the 2014 Thanksgiving Mobilization Campaign

From November 24th through the 30th, members of the Overland Park Police Department hit the roadways to conduct enforcement for the Thanksgiving Mobilization S.T.E.P. (Special Traffic Enforcement Program) Campaign.

This yearly campaign is funded through a grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT). The enforcement effort specifically targets impaired drivers as well as vehicle occupants who are not properly restrained. Officers also looked for child passenger seat violations, speeding, texting while driving, and other alcohol related arrests in an effort to reduce alcohol related auto accidents.
 
Please review the results below:
 192 -  Hours worked
328   - Vehicles stopped
108   -  Speeding violations
135   - Seat belts (18+)
0       - Safety Belts (14-17)
1       -  Safety Belts (8-13)
0       - Booster Seats (4-7)
0       - Child Seats (0-3)
124   - Hazardous Moving
1       - Texting While Driving
73     - Other Violations
3       -  DUI Arrests
1       - Minor In Possession Arrests
2       -  Drug Arrests
4       -  Warrant Arrest
 
3       -  Other Arrests
 
 
 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cyber Monday is Here - Buyer Beware

Now that we've stuffed ourselves with lots of food during thanksgiving, it's time to begin looking ahead to the upcoming holiday and what we're going to be buying our friends and loved ones.

Kudos to you if you were one of the adventurous souls who took advantage of Black Friday or the extended holiday shopping hours last week, but for many people, Cyber Monday is the time to find that really good deal online.

Last week we tried to prepare everyone by supplying them with safety tips while they ventured out to do their shopping, and this week we want to provide you with a few steps to take to protect yourself while shopping online this season.

The FBI offers the following tips to prevent online fraud:

•Purchase merchandise only from reputable sellers.

•Obtain a physical address and phone number rather than a post office box, and call the seller to see if the number is correct and working.

•Send an email to the seller to make sure the address is active.

•Check with the Better Business Bureau in the seller’s area.

•Ask about returns and warranties.

•Be wary of overseas sellers, who might not be subject to recourse by U.S. law enforcement.

•Don’t judge a company by its website. Impressive-looking websites can be set up quickly.

•Use a credit card for purchases rather than a money order or personal check if your credit card company allows you to dispute charges if something goes wrong.

•Shop around to educate yourself about the price range for an item. If the deal is too good to be true, it probably isn’t legitimate.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Help Us Identify Aggressive & Bold Shoplifters

On Monday evening around 6:00, two suspects entered a local Best Buy store and began to fill a cart with, what we assume, was someone's Christmas list of electronic items.

It took them only five minutes to get the items on their list before they pushed their goods out the front door. Employees were able to intercept them at the door and ask them if they were going to pay for the items since they had deliberately bypassed all points of sale.

Our two young thieves didn't appreciate the employees stopping them from taking the items, so one of them took out a can of pepper spray and sprayed it in the direction of the employees. The suspects then took off running, although we're happy to say they left without the stuff they were planning to steal.

Luckily, none of the employees got the spray in their eyes, although one had some on his neck and arm that caused some burning and redness.
As you can imagine, we'd like to identify these young men and hold them accountable for their brazen actions.

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



Monday, November 24, 2014

"Ooh Look at Those Pretty Lights"

The twinkling lights of red and blue might have looked pretty from a distance, but if you were one of the many motorists stuck in the big traffic jam on US69 Highway Friday night, pretty was probably the last thing you were thinking.

So what happened Friday? A combination of things or a perfect storm of sorts, when it comes to traffic. The tail-end of a Friday night rush hour, heavy construction, wet roads, highway speeds and tailgating drivers. Bam! Crash number one! One car into another, and another into a guardrail. Oh, it was just too much to pass up without taking a look, and then, Bam!! Crash number two... followed by crash number three... then four... and then five. And not just a simple two car crash either. No, most of them had more than two cars. One of them appeared to have involved six cars, until sorting everything out the officers learned that one was actually two separate crashes.

A simple two car crash ties up one officer for at least 45 minutes or longer. Add additional cars, passengers, injuries or vehicles that require tows, and you can start doubling that time. Get a bunch of cars involved or put a simple two car crash in a high traffic area and the incident will start to tie up multiple officers for traffic control. And that's just scratching the surface of the on-scene investigation. It doesn't even begin to get into all of the costs associated with any property or personal injuries involved. Most folks would consider it an inconvenience to deal with a crash on their Friday night instead of just relaxing. You can reduce your risk of being involved in this type of inconvenience simply by driving defensively and keeping your eyes on the roadway in front of you.

Notice we didn't say drive aggressively, we said drive defensively. That means don't tailgate, reduce your speed in construction zones, don't drive in someone else's blind spot, check your mirrors and check then often. If you ever find yourself involved in a crash that can be moved off of the highway, please move it. Don't give other's something to look at.

Yes, those twinkling lights can be mesmerizing. And the destruction that occurs when one vehicle collides with another is tempting to look at, but avoid the temptation and keep your focus on driving.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Shopping Safety During the Holiday Season

The holiday season is now upon us and a vast majority of the population will be venturing out to shop for friends and family. Thieves will be also be out shopping and are hoping to make you their next victim.

This time of year attracts more criminal activity to retail areas because of extended store hours and larger crowds. Shoppers are easily distracted while looking at possible purchases, thus creating a more favorable environment for thieves.

Anticipate crowds and remember to take safety precautions. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you shop at night, park close to the store and under a parking lot light, if you can. Be alert when walking to and from your car, lock your vehicle and be sure to conceal your purchases by locating them in a trunk or cover them with a blanket.

Avoid leaving your purse containing your driver’s license, checkbook and credit cards unattended in a shopping cart or baby stroller. It just takes a second for a thief to grab it.

The buddy system is also a great crime deterrent. Shop with a friend or in a group. It’s not only more fun, but it greatly reduces your chances of being victimized.

 Here are a few more tips for shopping safety during the holiday season:

 · Conceal packages in trunks - plain view

 · Report suspicious people or activities immediately

 · Lock your vehicle

· Pay attention to your surroundings, both in a store and in a parking lot

 · If you feel uneasy returning to your car alone, find a security guard or store employee and ask them to walk you to your car.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

OPPD reminds drivers - Don't Drive on the Shoulder

Please, don't do this.

The Overland Park Police Department continues to receive numerous complaints from motorists regarding drivers who intentionally drive on the shoulder in order to avoid traffic congestion and lane reductions.

Please be patient while navigating road construction on northbound U.S. 69 Highway, from 119th Street to College Boulevard.
 Motorists are reminded that using the shoulder of a highway is illegal. Officers will continue traffic enforcement at this location on a regular basis.

The exit lane is clearly marked and should be easily differentiated from the shoulder.

Officers understand motorists become frustrated by slow moving traffic and then drive on the right shoulder in order to exit at College Boulevard.

Besides violating the law, driving on the shoulder is very dangerous, not just for you, but other motorists. Highway shoulders are designed specifically for emergencies, such as disabled vehicles or stranded motorists.

Officers have been conducting increased enforcement in the construction area over the past few days and will continue until the project is completed.e Kansas Department of Transportation
#KCTRAFFIC is repairing and replacing the surface of the U.S. 69 bridge over I-435 to improve your safety and travel.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Need Help Identifying Robbery Suspect

Earlier this morning, the Overland Park Police Department responded to a reported robbery at the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, located at 9000 Metcalf Avenue.

An employee said a B/M came up to the customer service counter and handed the employee a note stating he had a gun. The employee complied with the suspect's demands and gave him an undisclosed amount of money.

No one was injured and no customers were involved. 

The suspect left on foot and was last seen running north through the parking lot. He is described as a black male, roughly 5`8" to 5`10", medium build, with a goatee. He was wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt under a black leather jacket.

Anyone with information on this person’s identity is asked to contact the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS or the Overland Park Police at 913-344-8750.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Prepare Now for Winter Driving Conditions

With the forecast calling for some possible snow accumulation this weekend, it's a good time to make sure we've prepared ourselves for any challenging conditions.

Here are a few tips to keep you safe on the roadways this winter:

1. Be sure all occupants are "buckled up."
2. Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop.
3. Brake gently to avoid skidding.
4. Turn on your lights to increase your visibility.
5. Use low gears to maintain traction, especially on hills.
6. Don't use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
7. Take extra caution on bridges and overpasses. They freeze quickly.
8. Don't pass snowplows and sand trucks.
9. Keep your windshield clean.
10. Don't assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Four-wheel drive is of little benefit on icy roads.

The following things should be done each year before the winter season arrives:

1. Create a plan for what your family will do in case of a significant storm.
2. Get your car fully checked and winterized.
3. Have supplies available in case you are stranded for a period of time in your home or at work.

You can find more information about preparing for emergencies and the coming winter weather at:
http://www.preparemetrokc.org.

For a complete list of items for a home or car emergency kit, go to 
www.ksready.gov . Additional information on preparing for winter weather is available from FEMA atwww.fema.gov, the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org, or your county emergency management office.

Winter road conditions are accessible by dialing 5-1-1 from your mobile phone or by going to the Kansas Department of Transportation web site at 
http://511.ksdot.org/

Monday, November 3, 2014

Help Us Identify These "Pink" Thieves

On October 11th, 2014, the Overland Park Police Department took an auto burglary report at a local country club. The two victims told police they parked their minivan in the parking lot of the establishment and left two purses inside. When they returned, they discovered someone had broken out one of the windows and removed the purses from inside. The victims had several credit cards stolen along with some personal checks.

A short time later, the female suspect uses one of the victim's checks at an area retail store. The same female returns to the store two hours later and makes a second fraudulent purchase with another check belonging to the victim. She is accompanied by a male who also engages in a theft while he's inside the store.

Still not done, the female then goes to a different store in another city and uses a third check belonging to the victim to purchase a pink bed comforter (see picture below).

The victim's checks continue to be passed at various businesses in the Johnson County, Kansas area.

The suspect is described as a thin white female, with bleach blonde hair, and appears to be in her 20`s or 30`s. She is accompanied by a stocky white male, with short, shaved hair and a thin beard. He also appears to be in his late 20`s or early 30`s and has unknown tattoos on the insides of both forearms.


They are both seen leaving in a large, dark-colored SUV.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS or the Overland Park Police at 913-344-8729.







Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Safety Tips

With Halloween falling on a Friday this year, combined with the warmer weather, you can bet there's a good chance you'll see a lot more of the little ones darting in and out of the neighborhoods this year.
The Overland Park Police Department wants everyone to enjoy a fun and safe Halloween evening by following several safety tips.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children are four times more likely to be in fatal pedestrian accidents on Halloween than on any other night of the year. The numbers are scary when you think about it which is why we want to remind parents about a few safety items.

There are seven basic reasons why children are more likely to be hurt in pedestrian accidents:

1. They often choose to take the shortest route, which may mean darting out between parked cars rather than take the safer route of crossing at corners.

2. They're poor at evaluating potential traffic threats.

3. They're more likely to disregard their peripheral vision and are less attentive of their street surroundings.

4. They have a tendency to believe they're indestructible and are more likely to take risks.

5. They need to be told that some people driving cars will not slow down for them.

6. They can't cross streets as rapidly as adults.

7. They may be distracted by other children's costumes, behaviors, and home decorations.


Here are some important Halloween safety tips that every parent should know:

• Purchase or make Halloween costumes from flame-resistant materials.

• Pick brightly colored costumes or add your own reflective tape so motorists can see them.

• Attach your child's name, address, and phone number somewhere inside the costume. • An adult should always accompany children under age 12.

• To avoid tripping, make sure your child's costume is not too long, and that shoes are the proper size.

• Use washable face paint instead of masks so your child's vision isn't compromised.

• Plan the route your children are going to take, especially if they're going out unsupervised. They should go in a group.

• Teach your children never to respond to a driver or pedestrian that calls out to them.

• Provide your children with a healthy meal ahead of time, so they don't get hungry before returning home.

• Make sure your children don't eat any candy or food without checking with you first.

• Keep your walkway free of debris so that children coming to your house won't trip or fall.

• Keep your pets away from the front door so they won't scare trick-or-treaters.

• Tell your children not to go to homes with barking, jumping dogs and not to approach any stray animals.

• Make sure your children have flashlights, especially if they're staying out after dark.

• Establish an appropriate curfew for children to return home.

• Make sure your children have change for a phone call and know their phone number.

• Don't let young children carve pumpkins. Get them involved by drawing the outlines before you cut them out as well as helping with other decorations.

• Don't hand out candy that could be a possible choking hazard to younger children.

• Teach your children to stay on the sidewalks and cross only at corners.

• Teach your children to look, listen and be aware of cars not stopping at corners.

• Teach your children to only go to houses with porch lights on and to never enter anyone's house.

 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

New Overland Park Police Chief Sworn In

On Monday night at the Overland Park City Council meeting, Mayor Carl Gerlach conducted a swearing-in ceremony for Overland Park's newest Police Chief, Frank Donchez.

Donchez was police chief in Davenport, Iowa, prior to accepting the job in Overland Park. He replaces John Douglass who retired earlier this year after 41 years of service with the Overland Park Police Department.


He started his police career in Bethlehem, Penn., in 1981, rising to the rank of Police Commissioner. In 2006 through 2007, he was a consultant for the Easton, Penn., Police Department.

Donchez earned his law degree and became a licensed attorney in 2001. He was in private practice from 2001 to 2007. He is currently pursuing his master’s degree in public administration.

Other training and education experiences include the FBI National Academy; the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Council; Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government; a bachelor’s degree in management from Moravian College; Drug Enforcement Administration Drug Unit Commander’s Academy; and United States Secret Service Dignitary Protection Training.


Donchez's first day was on Monday, Oct. 20th. Please join us in welcoming Chief Donchez as he begins his new journey with the Overland Park Police Department.



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

BUYERS BEWARE - Counterfeit World Series Tickets

Yesterday, the Overland Park Police Department was contacted by a local ticket broker who said someone was just in their business trying to sell fake World Series tickets to an unsuspecting buyer.

The potential buyer went to the broker hoping to have the tickets authenticated. The broker told both of them the tickets were counterfeit and they soon left the store.

The ticket broker called the police and officers were able to make contact with the individual selling the fake tickets. Detectives were called in, and through their investigation, a total of four individuals were arrested for selling the counterfeit tickets.

Three of the four suspects came here from New York, and the other one is from Atlanta. The tickets were sold to victims through Craigslist or in person. We believe there are other victims out there who may have bought bogus tickets from these individuals.

Anyone who believes they may have purchased counterfeit tickets from these individuals are asked to call the Overland Park Police Department at (913) 895-6300.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Help Identify Auto Burglary Suspects

On July 2, 2014, Overland Park Police investigated an auto burglary in the 10500 block of Metcalf Avenue. The business at that location had two delivery trucks and another vehicle broken into during the overnight hours.

After reviewing surveillance video, it was determined the suspects approached and entered the vehicles on four different occasions during a two hour time period. Two suspects were seen at different times and both are believed to be responsible for all four incidences.

The suspects were able to steal over $2000 worth of miscellaneous hand tools from inside the vehicles.

The pictures below only show one of the suspects involved.

Anyone with information on the identity of the suspects is asked to call the Overland Park Police Department Tip-Line at (913) 344-8750.




Wednesday, October 15, 2014

We Need Your Help to Identify Five Bold & Brazen Shoplifters

The Overland Park Police Department is requesting the public's assistance in identifying five females involved in shoplifting items at a local beauty supply store.

The females in the attached pictures hit a beauty supply store in Overland Park on September 27th and got away with over $1500 worth of high-end fragrances.

The females entered the store carrying large purses and headed directly to the fragrance area. They were observed placing items in their purses and then leaving the store. The alarm at the front door went off when they were exiting the store, but all of them refused to stop for employees who tried to confront them.

Anyone with information on the identity of these individuals is asked to contact the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS or Detective Byron Pierce at 913-535-3193.



Friday, October 10, 2014

Need Help Identifying Two Suspects Involved in the Theft of Fuel and Fuel Trailers

Overland Park Police Detectives are looking for assistance in identifying two suspects who have been stealing diesel fuel or the actual fuel tank and trailer. Since August 1, there have been four reports taken in the south end of the city. Two of the reports involved the thefts of the fuel tanks, and the other two were for siphoning the fuel from the tanks.

Surveillance cameras captured the suspects on two different dates.  

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

Suspect #1

Suspect #2

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Overland Park Police Seeking Information on a Home Invasion/Aggravated Robbery

Overland Park Police responded on a reported aggravated robbery in the 12700 block of W. 120th Terrace this morning around 10:30 am.

The female victim told officers she had just arrived home and heard knocking at her front door. As she approached the door, the suspects broke out a window on the side of it and were able to gain access into the home. The two black males met her in the foyer as she started screaming at them to get out of the house. One of the males quickly grabbed the victim, put a knife up to her throat and took the necklace that she was wearing.

Both suspects ran to a white four-door vehicle that was parked in front. Someone else was driving as both of them got in the back seats. 

The suspects were both described as tall, skinny, and ranged in age from late teens to early 20's. They were also said to be wearing dark colored long-sleeved t-shirts and blue jeans.

If you have any information on this case, please call the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS, or the Overland Park Police Departments Investigation Division at 913-344-8750.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

UPDATE: Motorcyclist Dies From Injuries Received in an Accident on 9/28/14

On September 28, 2014, at approximately 12:02 p.m., the Overland Park Police Department responded to an injury accident that occurred in the area of W. 106th Street and Quivira Road.

Witnesses on scene told officers the motorcycle driver and his passenger crashed after being forced to swerve out of the way when another vehicle made an unsafe lane change in front of them.

The driver of the motorcycle was transported to a local hospital with life threatening injuries and his female passenger was transported with serious injuries. The driver has since died from his injuries and is identified as 59 year-old Overland Park Resident, Patrick Bernard Strader.

The Overland Park Police Traffic Safety Unit continues to investigate this accident.

Attempted Abduction of an 18 Year-Old Female

Yesterday, around 3:30 pm, we responded to the area of 158th and Ash Lane on an attempted abduction. The 18 year-old female victim reported she was grabbed from behind by a male while in the driveway of a residence. She was able to scream and fight back which caused the suspect to let go of her and flee. He was last seen getting into the passenger side of a van driven by another unidentified male.

The victim described the suspect as a 40 to 50 year-old Hispanic male, approximately 5’09, and heavy set. He was reportedly wearing a long-sleeved blue shirt with an animal design on it, jean shorts and burgundy shoes. The male had dark “spiked” style hair.

The suspect vehicle is described a cargo type “work” van with flat red paint.

The Overland Park Police Department is currently investigating and asks that anyone with information on this incident contact the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS or the Overland Park Police at 913-344-8750.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

DUI Saturation Patrol Scheduled for this Friday

The Overland Park, Kansas Police Department is conducting a DUI Saturation Patrol on this Friday, October 10, 2014. It is the police department’s goal to reduce alcohol related auto accidents and discourage impaired driving within the community. 

The DUI Saturation Patrol will begin at 10:00 PM, and the enforcement will not end until 2:00 AM.


Saturation Patrols typically occur on weekend nights and concentrate on heavily traveled streets and highways. To report an impaired driver in Overland Park, call Police Dispatch at 895-6300 or 911.

To avoid becoming a statistic, make arrangements to find a safe way home before celebrating. If you are impaired, call a taxi, or contact someone sober to come pick you up.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Final DEA Sponsored Drug Take-Back Event a Success

 
Last Saturday, Overland Park participated in another successful drug take-back event, but unfortunately, this will be the last event sponsored by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency).

During Saturday's event, we collected over 300 pounds of unused, unwanted or expired medication. Although the DEA announced in late August they'll no longer sponsor nationwide collection events, Overland Park and Johnson County residents still have several options for medication disposal.

The DEA has now authorized certain DEA registrants (manufacturers, distributors, reverse distributors, narcotic treatment programs, retail pharmacies, and hospitals/clinics with an on-site pharmacy) to collect unwanted medications from the public beginning on October 9th. The rule change creates a process for DEA registered pharmacies and hospitals to collect medications year-round without the need for law enforcement to be on-site. The rules also define how the hospitals/pharmacies must collect and dispose of the medications.

A press release with this information was posted on the DEA website on September 22nd. You can view it at:
http://www.justice.gov/dea/divisions/hq/2014/hq092314.shtml

In addition, Overland Park residents now have a permanent and convenient location to dispose of excess, expired, prescription and over-the-counter medications. In a partnership with the Johnson County Regional Prevention Center, we've established a permanent Prescription Drug Take Back Drop Box, located inside the Sanders Justice Center (12400 Foster Street). The hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm.


Johnson County also has three other locations that offer permanent drop off sites:

Johnson County Sheriff's Office - Courthouse
125 N. Cherry Street in Olathe

Shawnee Police Department

5850 Renner Road in Shawnee

Lenexa Police Department
12500 W. 87th Street in Lenexa

Friday, September 26, 2014

Two Significant Events of Note this Weekend

This weekend, there are two very popular activities taking place that we believe is worthy of a reminder from this blog.
 
The first one is our Drug Take Back event which is scheduled to take place tomorrow from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM. There will be six convenient locations in Overland Park where you can drop off your expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous with no questions asked. 

The six locations are as follows:
  • 8500 Antioch Rd – Overland Park Police Department.
  • 12400 Foster St – Overland Park Police Department
  • 7000 W 75th St – Price Chopper
  • 7418 W 119th St – Price Chopper
  • 11700 W 135th St – Price Chopper
  • 7201 W 151st St – Price Chopper
  • 6900 W 135th St – Hen House
Of course you'll want to work it around your schedule so you can be sure to attend the Overland Park Fall Festival. One of the highlights every year is the Fall Festival Parade which kicks off at 10:00 AM.
  • Be sure to check out these other exciting events while you're down there:
  • The region's top Arts and Crafts Fair
  • 3 stages of free concerts
  • The nationally ranked OP Farmers' Market
  • Classic cars
  • Children's entertainment - moonwalks, singers and puppets
  • Food! Lots and Lots of Great Food
  • Live in Concert- The Elders, at 3 p.m.
  • Free admission
There is a new online app this year to help you find parking, the parade route, main entertainment stage, food court, kids face painting, information booth and where each of this year's arts and crafts vendors is located.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Another Dog Bite - Request For Information on Owner

The Overland Park Police Department/Animal Control Unit would like your assistance in locating a dog involved in a reported dog bite. The incident took place on a bike path along Indian Creek Parkway, just east of Roe Avenue. This occurred on Wednesday, September 24, 2014, at approximately 3:50 PM.

The male victim was walking along the path when a large, leashed dog and handler passed the victim. As the dog passed the victim, the dog bit him on his forearm. The handler exchanged information with the victim but additional information is still needed.

The handler is a white male, between 38 and 48 years of age with brown hair and a ball cap. The dog is an unknown breed, approximately 3 feet tall, light brown fur - similar to a Golden Retriever, and weighed approximately 165 pounds.

If anyone has information on the owner of this dog, please contact the Overland Park Police Department at 913-895-6300.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Al Sneller Retires After 28 Years

Last Friday we held a retirement ceremony for Acting Major Al Sneller to say goodbye to him after 28 years of faithful and dedicated service to the citizens of Overland Park.

During his 28 year career with the City, it's evident that Al's drive and determination propelled him up the ranks of leadership. He started out as an officer and has held every rank up to, and including Major.

In fact, Al has been heavily involved in so many groups, departments, divisions, specializations, etc, that it would be hard to mention them all. We will, however, share a few of the highlights from his career. He's served as a Field Training Officer, Metro Squad Investigator, Background Investigator, Response Team member and supervisor, Training Lieutenant, FTO Program Coordinator, and Fleet Manager. In addition to the ones I just mentioned, he was assigned as the Dispatch Commander, Emergency Management Coordinator, Patrol Division Commander, Investigations Division Commander, and the Patrol Support Commander.

Please join us in congratulating Al Sneller on all of his accomplishments and his retirement from the Overland Park Police Department.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Drug Take Back Event This Saturday 9/27

On September 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Overland Park Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its ninth opportunity in four years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.  (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.)  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

·       8500 Antioch Rd – Overland Park Police Department.

·       12400 Foster St – Overland Park Police Department.

·       7000 W 75th St – Price Chopper

·       7418 W 119th St – Price Chopper

·       11700 W 135th St – Price Chopper

·       7201 W 151st St – Price Chopper

·       6900 W 135th St – Hen House

Last April, Americans turned in 390 tons (over 780,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 6,100 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,400 of its state and local law enforcement partners.  When those results are combined with what was collected in its eight previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 4.1 million pounds—more than 2,100 tons—of pills.  There have been 7,086 pounds of pills taken back at Overland Park drop off locations since October 2011.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
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 their family member or pet 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.