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See It! Hear It! Report It! Works in Parsons

Our efforts with promoting 'See It! Hear It! Report It!' has contributed to interdicting a host of crimes and criminal activity in our community since we rolled the program out four-years ago. While the crime ate has not jumped, out volume of calls has increased significantly - so YOU are partnering with us to investigate a host of suspicious activities in the City!

You can also participate in the national program of 'If You See Something, Say Something' campaign administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This allows citizens to make reports even when they are outside the city limits.

With the help of the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI), the campaign has identified indicators of terrorism-related suspicious activity. These include, but are not limited to, unusual items or situations, eliciting information, and observation/surveillance. Some of these activities could be innocent-it is up to law enforcement to determine whether the behavior warrants investigation.

But we can all help keep our communities safe by paying attention to our surroundings and reporting suspicious activity to local law enforcement.

Protecting Citizens' Civil Rights & Civil Liberties

The "If You See Something, Say Something®" campaign respects citizens' privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties by emphasizing behavior, rather than appearance, in identifying suspicious activity.

Factors such as race, ethnicity, and/or religious affiliation are not suspicious. The public should only report suspicious behavior and situations (e.g., an unattended backpack or package, or someone breaking into a restricted area). Only reports that document behavior that is indicative of criminal activity related to terrorism will be shared with federal partners.

How to Report Suspicious Activity

Public safety and security are everyone's responsibility. If you see suspicious activity, report it to local law enforcement or a person of authority using the "5W's".

Report suspicious activity to a person in authority, such as local law enforcement.

Do not be afraid to report something, even if you are not sure, it was serious.

  • Who to tell:

 - On the street, tell a police officer.

 - On a bus, tell the driver.

 - In a train or subway station, tell a security guard.

  • What to tell them:

 - WHAT did you observe? Be specific.

 - WHO did you see?

 - WHEN did you see it?

 - WHERE did you see this occur?

 - WHY is it suspicious


Suspicious activity is any observed behavior that could indicate terrorism or other criminal activity. Examples include:

  • Unusual items or situations: A vehicle in an odd location, unattended luggage/package, open door/window that is normally closed and locked, etc.
  • Eliciting information: Questioning individuals at a level beyond mere curiosity about particular facets of a facilities or building's purpose, operations, security, etc.
  • Observation/surveillance: unusual attention to facilities or buildings beyond a casual or professional interest. Extended loitering without explanation, particularly in concealed locations with optimal visibility of potential targets. Unusual, repeated, and/or prolonged observation of buildings (e.g., with a video camera or binoculars), taking notes and/or measurements, sketching floor plans.

Many of these activities could be innocent. Law enforcement professionals must examine suspicious behaviors in a larger context to determine whether there is reason to investigate. The activities above are not all-inclusive. They have been compiled from a review of terrorist events over several years.

Protect your every day.





Congratulations Graduates!

It is that time of year, graduations from our K-12 schools are in full swing. Great work to both the students and families as our future leaders make important steps forward!

Today, Friday the 13th is also graduation day for a multitude of individuals at Labette Community College (LCC). It is a wide range of graduates in programs ranging from nursing, engineering, the sciences, transfer degrees to universities, workforce development and certificate programs. In fact, LCC offers 27 degree programs and 8 certificate programs (give them a look at: )

The best crime prevention program any community can have are the resources of a community college right in our city. In Parsons we have the benefit of LCC right in town. This makes it easy as possible to have an open door for education for people to develop skill sets and technical skills - it is not just about getting a college degree. It is really important for people to be able to lift themselves up by their bootstraps to compete for living wage jobs, to prepare for a career or to focus on transferring to a university. LCC allows individuals from all socio-economic levels to invest in their future success.

While today, I and the rest of the Parsons Police Department wish these graduates success as they push forward to obtain their dreams, we encourage the community to embrace the huge benefit that LCC provides to our community.

It is open enrollment time at LCC, so I encourage folks to learn more about our outstanding community college, the resources available, the technical skills training, certificate and degree programs that are available right here in Parsons. Education is the door that opens financial security and personal growth while closing the door on poverty, crime, and domestic violence. That is a great combination.

As a side note - the Criminal Justice Program invites you to enroll in a criminal justice class. Our team is comprised of Chris Farris (KBI), Chief Jerry Harrison (Independence Police) and me. We are looking forward to seeing you in class!


Robert Spinks - Chief of Police

Severe Weather - Road Closures

Parsons and the surrounding Labette County Area woke up to a Flood Watch issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) extending to 7pm tonight (Thurs, May 5th). There remains standing water in some low lying areas in town. The Public Works Department is monitoring high water areas and has barricaded those areas in residential and commercial areas.

DO NOT DRIVE AROUND BARRICADES. Water depth can quickly deepen and stall or push a car off a roadway.

The NWS forecasts showers and thunderstorms this morning, then showers and possibly a thunderstorm after 2pm. High near 67. Winds could gust as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
Showers and thunderstorms likely before 1am, then a slight chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 53. West wind 10 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
It will take some time for high water to receed. In the mean time drive slowly, be aware of your surroundings and budget extra time for your travels today and Friday.

Deputy Chief Dennis Dodd Recognized by Labette Community College

As a Police Chief, one of the best feelings you can enjoy is to see the hard work of your staff being recognized by the community. Being able to introduce staff and highlighting work performance in a public forum is often understated by government agencies.

In the Thursday, April 21st edition of the Parsons Sun newspaper the police department has a special insert.  We have several new staff to introduce to the community, articles about policing and promotions. 

Today, I want to highlight the announcement that Deputy Chief Dennis Dood has been selected as a 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients by Labette Community College & the LCC Foundation. I want to publicly congratulate Dennis on this award. It recognizes his personal commitment to excellence not only with his formal education, his 16 years of service with the Parsons Police Department, but to his commitment to the community of Parsons.

Dennis is an outstanding partner who I count on every day. I trust his judgment and know he has a heart that cares about our crime victims, kids and the livability of our community. 

I know that LCC and the LCC Foundation will be well represented by their pick of Dennis - he will represent the college, our police department and the Parsons community well into the future.



Attempted Murder Suspect Captured

David Lamont Young III was captured yesterday by the US Marshals Fugitive Task Force in Cleveland, OH n a charge of attempted murder for a shooting in Parsons, he is also facing other charges in Kansas. He is a convicted felon who should still be in prison if not for a system that often lets predatory habitual felons back onto our streets too soon.

Fortunately, because of the teamwork that brings, state and federal law enforcement services together to form a wide web that is designed to capture criminals like Young to justice the days of Bonnie and Clyde, the Dalton Gang and other criminals that traversed across the Midwest has been reduced.

Policing is a team effort among the 18,000 law enforcement agencies across the United States. Getting the critical investigative information from victims, witnesses, and citizens just like you provided the foundation for a successful investigation. This combined with forensic evidence and hardworking police officers and detectives lead to identifying the suspect. An arrest warrant was obtained, and the search was on for Lamont. This all takes time and effort.

Last year nearly 700 criminal arrests were made by the Parsons Police Department - unfortunately half of those who were arrested were arrested more than once last year. Two of these arrestees were arrested 12 times!



National Drug & Alcohol Fact Week

Check out these useful links!

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW), an annual health observance week, connects youth with resources to SHATTER THE MYTHS® about drugs, alcohol, and related health topics. The next National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week® will be held March 21-27, 2022.

Take the National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge. Test students' knowledge about drugs and alcohol with this short, interactive quiz.

Start a conversation using answers to teens' 10 frequently asked questions about drugs and health.


Crime Prevention

Crime Prevention is a Team Sport

As we see the light of Spring heading our way crime prevention continues to be a team sport. Preventing crime is a community responsibility. With 681 arrests made by the Parsons Police Department last year, your police staff is doing their part. But 54.91% of those arrested were arrested more than once in 2021. Two of these criminals were arrested over 12 times. The Courts also have to shoulder responsibility to provide deterrence to crime.

Crime is down to half of what it was over a decade ago. Our community's biggest crime threat is domestic violence - misdemeanor domestic violence, felony aggravated assault domestic violence and half of the homicides in the past decade were domestic violence related.

Remove domestic violence from our community and those high per capita violent crime rates drop. Each year there are about 70 to 90 reported violent crimes in Parsons (murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) - on average 75% to 95% of all violent crime in Parsons involves an aggravated assault mostly domestic violence. This is not new - it been a 20-year reality.

Crime data is collected by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) for the Uniform Crime Report (UCR), before it is sent to the FBI. UCR crime only includes murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.

2020 Total UCR Crime Reported: 499 crimes ranking Parsons 26th in State

2020 Total Property Crime Reported: 406 crime ranking Parsons 28th in State

2020 Total Violent Crime Reported: 93 crime ranking Parsons 18th in State

Did you know that:

  • Wichita had 24,924 UCR Crimes,
  • Kansas City 9,362,
  • Topeka 6,862,
  • Overland Park 4,422, and
  • Lawrence 2,995?

To see how other Kansas communities rank in actual crime go to the Parsons Crime Clock page on the police website: 

Parsonians are stepping up - we saw a surge in 2021 with more calls to the police. Not necessarily an increase in crime, but a rise in citizens reporting the suspicious, the unusual and taking more responsibility in eyeballing their own neighborhood.

With a small policing staff, having all members of the community being part of the crime prevention team is critical. If you see something suspicious, we encourage you to immediately share that observation with our dispatch center by calling 620-421-7060, 24 hours-a-day. Having the eyes and ears of all 10,000 residents being watchful is a significant deterrent to crime and when crime does occur; having those witnessing eyes available to the police can mean the difference between a successful resolution or an unsolved case.

What can you do to make our community safer? The National Crime Prevention Council suggests:

  • Use your locks. Even the best locks on a car, dorm room, house or apartment cannot protect you if you don't use them
  • Don't leave valuables unattended and in plain view in your car. Secure valuables in your trunk, especially if you leave your car parked for long periods in town.
  • Secure your spare key. Leave your spare key with a trusted neighbor. Leaving a key unattended under a door mat is an invitation for a burglar who will also be looking for obvious key locations to enter your home.
  • Let there be light. Make sure all outside entrances to your residence or apartment have good lighting so burglars can't easily hide.

Our business is a team sport, and we always need you on the team!

For more information on crime prevention, visit . To learn more about policing in Parsons visit our web site at .

Domestic Violence Factoids

Domestic Violence is a Parsons Problem

Every year in Parsons there are nearly 200 misdemeanor and felony aggravated domestic violence assaults. Reduce these domestic violence crimes and the violent crime rate in Parsons plummets. Parsons doesn't have a street crime problem; it has a partner-on-partner violence problem.

With a 22.5% poverty rate, the community is at risk of family violence for a host of socio-economic challenges. That can translate into drug, child abuse and domestic violence.

Economic development is our community's #1 crime prevention program.

Kansas DV Factoids:

1.  Our closest source for a safehouse program and for domestic violence services is located in Pittsburg. This one agency services 7 counties in SE Kansas.

2.  More than 70,000 people receive help each year from Kansas sexual and domestic violence victim advocacy organizations.

3.  More than 44,350 crisis hotline calls are answered by the Kansas Crisis Hotline every year.

4.  Over 3,570 people find refuge in safe shelters across Kansas resulting in more than 88,900 shelter bed nights provided.


5.  Approximately 1 in 4 women in the U.S. have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime.

See It! Hear It! Report It! Help break the cycle of violence in your community.


Crime Data - What's It Mean?

Per Capita Crime Rate vs. Actual Crime Reported

Had a great question - I was asked how can our per capita crime rate equal that of large cities? Doesn't that mean we're a violent town?

First - Parsons #1 violent crime is aggravated assault usually involving domestic violence. The #1 property crime is theft, in part because we're the retail trade center for a 40-mile radius - folks come to Parsons to purchases things. Think of Walmart. 

Second - Crime data comes in 2 packages. One is the rate of crime per capita, so as a population declines which Parsons has lost about 1,000 residents over the past half decade, the per capita rate of crime can stagnate or increase even if there is a decline in actual numbers of crime.

Then there is actual reported crime. In that case for 2020 (the most recent year of published data), The FBI crime rate (UCR - Uniform Crime Report), is only a snapshot of a handful of crimes used to benchmark crime activity across the state and nation. It does not include the total number of all calls for service or reported crime.

The FBI defines violent crime as murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, which Parsons had 93 violent crimes. Property crimes tracked by the FBI include burglary, theft, auto theft and arson, which totaled 406 property crimes (for 2020).

For actual reported crime that ranks Parsons 26th in the state. Coffeyville had 492 incidents while Independence had 547, Emporia had 545, Chanute failed to report and data, and Pittsburg had 1,248 reportable crimes. In the SE region of Kansas for comparable cities Parsons scores well. Higher than we'd like, but nowhere near the likes of Wichita (24,924 UCR crimes), Kansas City (9,362), Topeka (6,862), Overland Park (4,422), Lawrence (2,995), etc.

You can download a copy of our Annual Report and our Crime Clock flyer from our web site: where you can also sign up to receive text or email alerts. The reports can be directly viewed/downloaded at:


Crime Prevention starts with you and ends with the police. The Parsons Police Department urges the citizens of Parsons to "See It, Hear It, Report It" at all times. Using every resource available to stop crime before it happens or while in progress requires more than just the police staff it needs all of the eyes in the community for it to be successful.

Don't be an easy target for a thief. Make it difficult: DO THE 9PM ROUTINE.

At 9PM each evening, conduct a quick security check to verify that:

1.  Vehicles, garages and sheds are locked.

2.  Valuables are secured and brought inside.

3.  Activate exterior lights, security cameras and alarms.

Almost all prevention methods focus on not making yourself vulnerable to criminals looking for a crime of opportunity. Use these tips for having a safer residence:

 Lock your doors
 Install security / motion lighting
 Keep valuables out of vehicles
 Throw boxes away from new purchases day of trash pickup such as televisions and computers
 Keep records of serial numbers for valuable equipment
 Install security cameras and alarms
 Know your neighbors and watch each other's property
 Report any suspicious activity in your neighborhood


Reward Increased on Animal Cruelty Cases

The investigation into a series of attacks against dogs all centered in the SE corner of Parsons continues. Police are sifting through tips submitted by citizens. The reward has now been increased to $34,000 with a separate $5,000 reward being offered by PETA.

The updated Reward poster provides additional details on the cases along with a map showing the area where the attacks have been centered.

Based on multiple factors, it is possible that one individual who harbors an abnormal psychopathy that can use animal cruelty as a gateway to more violent behavior, according to 'Animal Cruelty as a Gateway Crime' published by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Residents in the southeast area of Parsons are encouraged not to let their dogs roam at large. When animals are left even in a fenced yard they should be watched. Installing Ring, Blink or other home CCTV devices are encouraged as a general crime prevention measure.

"Any suspicious individuals lurking in vehicles or on foot should be reported to the police department," says Acting Commander Kyle Wiford.

This continues to be an on-going investigation and citizens are encouraged to "See It, Hear It, Report It." If anyone has any further information on this incident or any other criminal activity, please contact the Parsons Police Department at 421-7060 or call the Tip Line at 421-7057 or email at

It's a New Year!

It is a New Year! A great time to review the past, plan for the future and look at the facts of today.

Last year Parsons Police struggled with staffing just as our other police agencies in the region did. Actually, across the state and nation police recruiting and retention is a shared challenge. Better private sector wages and benefits, increased competition among police agencies and COVID all combined to stress the policing profession. Parsons PD has long struggled with employee turnover; over the past 25 years the average rate of turnover has been 20%. The Parsons Fire Department has been about the same rate. Lower total compensation has long made Parsons a training ground instead being a career employer. We made great recent strides forward to make our entry level salaries on par for our region.

Parsons continues to be an award-winning agency! A national award for Excellence in Collaboration set the agency above its peers. A state level award from the American Automobile Association (AAA) for traffic safety put the department in the top 1% of agencies in Kansas. A Gold Award from Lexipol for policing policies and risk management put Parsons PD in the top 10 percent of over 4,000 police agencies in the nation.

These achievements all happened during a pandemic, staff shortages, and increased workloads with each member of the police department being expected to do more every day. That is an achievement in and by itself - one I want to recognize the efforts of your Parsons Police Officers and Staff!

We will continue to partner with our law enforcement partners to include the Labette Sheriff's Office, Labette County Attorney as well as the Independence and Coffeyville Police Departments and others. We continue to build great relations resulting in arrests by working cooperatively on our local cases that can stretch across jurisdictions with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI), Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI, the US Marshal's Fugitive Task Force, and others. These partnerships enhance our overall effectiveness extending local resources much farther.

Dec. 23rd Reward Increased on Animal Cruelty Cases

Due to overwhelming public support from Parsons area citizens as well as individuals from across the country, the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect(s) responsible for the killing of 'Ranger' has been increased to $30,000. As additional donations are received the reward will be increased.


Reward Total to be Increased Later This Week

Due to the amazing support of local residents and concerned citizens from across the nation, the Parsons Police Department will be raising the amount of the reward for information in its cruelty to animal investigations later this week.


Christmas Concert Supports Shop With A Cop

The tradition continues with a wonderful concert to set the mood for your Christmas holiday. The Parsons Chamber of Commerce, Labette County Tourism and the Parsons Municipal Auditorium are giving the community an early gift this year when they present "A Main Street Christmas Concert" featuring The Duke Mason Band on Saturday, December 4 at 7:00 p.m. at the Parsons Municipal Auditorium. The concert will be a family-friendly event and admission is free of charge, although the Parsons Police Department's, "Shop With A Cop" program will receive the free-will offering.
In addition to Duke and his band, "A Main Street Christmas Concert," will feature special guests the Labette Creek Crooners. This local area Barbershop Quartet consists of Parsonians Joe Burke, Dean Cramer, Marlan Hoffman and Keith Maloney singing holiday favorites. 
Duke has asked that the freewill offering be taken during the concert and all monetary donations be used to help support the Parsons Shop-With-A-Cop Program.
On the heels of the success of previous years Parsons Police Department, "Shop With A Cop" event, they once again will offer this to children in the community and will be funded with the donations collected from the concert and donation boxes. 
"Shop With A Cop" is a community outreach program which will pair a deserving child with a Parsons Police Department officer who will shop for items for themselves and their families. There will also be another opportunity to donate to this commendable project if you are unable to attend the concert. Donation boxes for monetary donations will be placed in the City of Parsons, Water Department, in the lobby at the Parsons Police Department, and will be accepted through December 10.
So breakout the eggnog, put on that hideously ugly sweater, or whatever it takes to get in the holiday spirit and plan to attend "A Main Street Christmas Concert" featuring The Duke Mason Band, the Labette Creek Crooners and a special guest on Saturday, December 4, 7:00 p.m. at the Parsons Municipal Auditorium, 112 South 17th Street, Parsons, KS.
The show is free of charge, and all seating is general admission. Doors to the auditorium are scheduled to open at 6:30 p.m. "A Main Street Christmas Concert" is sponsored by the Parsons Chamber of Commerce and Labette County Tourism in cooperation with The City of Parsons and the Parsons Municipal Auditorium.


A Time to Give Thanks

As this Thanksgiving approaches, I am reminded of how fortunate I am to serve with such an outstanding group of people. The Parsons Police Department's officers, Dispatch personnel and administrative support staff are dedicated, hard-working, and committed to serving the citizens of our City. I encourage you to give them a friendly smile or a kind word to let them know you appreciate them as much as I do. I am truly fortunate to have them by my side.


As we struggle along as other police agencies in our region, in Kansas and across the country with trying to recruit and retain great staff, we need your help to recruit. If you know of a great candidate who is mission driven, has empathy and values helping as much as enforcement then steer that man or woman to our web site ( ). As an award winning and nationally recognized police department we offer great career opportunities in the heartland of the Midwest where small town policing offers a more rewarding career than many large cities.


I would especially like to extend my sincerest appreciation to the residents of Parsons. Your efforts to enhance safety and cooperation with our office help make our City a great place to live and work. I am thankful for the assistance you provide through the crime tips hotline, website, and in person. I sincerely appreciate your commitment to the safety of our community.


My commitment to the citizens of this City has never been stronger. I will continue to work with you to improve the quality of life for each resident we serve. The support you've shown to me and the entire Police Department during 2021 has been overwhelming. I am very thankful. 


Happy Thanksgiving!

Chief Robert Spinks

November is National Adoption Month

Hear My Voice!

Permanency and adoption stories, directly from us



We are the teens of the child welfare system, and we each have a story to tell.

For some of us, foster care has been our entire life, but in just a few years we may be aging out. The conversation of what's next will be key to us living a stable life-and we want to be included in those conversations!

This month we are raising our voices to share stories from our time in care. Although it's not always easy for us to talk about our experiences, we realize they help shape our permanency decisions. We've also learned that staying silent during these decisions can be much worse.

Hear Youth Voices

Are You Listening?

We are the experts of our lives, and we know what we want and need for our futures. We want to share our experiences to help shine a light on areas where we think engagement and the system can improve.

  • Catherine Monet, shares things she learned over timeafter being adopted at age 21. "I think that one way to build this necessary trust is to invite youth to the table. Involve us in decision-making."
  • When legal permanency wasn't achieved, Lil' Crystal Dernier determined what permanency beyond a home looked like for her. "These factors all helped me grow in finding permanency in an unconventional way and developing positive self-efficacy."
  • Finding normal after moving into the eighth foster home at age 15, Annemarie was scared just how long she'd be welcome in her new home. But engaging conversations lead her to "feel comfortable enough to come to them and talk to them about problems."
  • After spending 19 of her 25 years of life in foster care, Shay House became a child welfare advocate and believes People with First-Hand Experience Should be at the Forefront of Policy Reform. "I firmly believe that true expertise lies within one's own experience."
  • After her nine siblings were separated into different foster homes and prevented from maintaining family relationships, Aleks was lead on a path away from-and back to-her siblings. "I suffer from individual and shared pain of guilt as I pursue my own life because many of my siblings are unable to do the same."


We'd love for you to share our stories with professionals, other teens in foster care, and prospective adoptive families to draw attention to the importance of conversations and engaging with us.


To read more: 


Child Welfare Information Gateway

US Department of Health and Human Service

Take a Break - Drive Awake for the Holidays

It has probably happened to you. You are driving on a long trip, traveling alone or at night, or perhaps just off from a long shift at work-and you start to yawn. Your eyes are heavy, the road seems to go on forever, and your vehicle veers.  


You have just entered a danger zone.


Warning Signs:


  • Can't keep your eyes open or focused
  • You can't keep your head up
  • Daydreaming or wandering thoughts
  • Drifting from your lane or off the road
  • Unintentionally tailgating vehicles
  • Yawning frequently or rubbing your eyes repeatedly
  • Missing signs or driving past your intended turn or exit
  • Feeling irritable or restless
  • Being unable to recall how far you've gone, or places you've passed


Drowsy driving is estimated to contribute to as many as 1.2 million collisions, resulting in potentially 5,000 to 8,000 fatalities per year.  But despite these risks, experts agree that drowsy driving is far too prevalent. 


Research shows that nearly a third of drivers admitted to driving within the prior thirty days when they were so tired that they had trouble keeping their eyes open. This lack of sleep slows reaction time, impairs judgment, and increases the risk of dozing off while driving. 


Getting good sleep on a regular basis is the best defense against drowsy driving.  But if you do find yourself driving while drowsy, Take a Break. Drive Awake - to help reduce the risks of drowsy driving.


Rolling down the windows, turning up the radio or drinking a caffeinated beverage are not enough to stave off drowsiness.


What to do:


  • Find a safe, legal place off the roadway to take a quick nap
  • Take a break to recharge with exercise
  • Every two hours or 100 miles, pull over to stretch and move around
  • Have a buddy on long trips


Always aim for seven or more hours of sleep every night to ensure you are ready to get behind the wheel. Drivers who sleep less than five hours per night are six times more likely to be involved in a drowsy-driving-related crash than drivers who get eight or more hours of sleep.


Take the simple step to protect yourself and others by always being well rested before you get behind the wheel.


Never risk driving when you are drowsy.  But if you do find yourself drowsy while driving, remember: Take a Break. Drive Awake.  It may just save your life - or someone else's.


Kansas Traffic Safety Resources Office

FBI Announces Rise in Violent Crime Nationwide

Washington, D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

FBI Releases 2020 Crime Statistics

For the first time in four years, the estimated number of violent crimes in the nation increased when compared with the previous year's statistics, according to FBI figures released today. In 2020, violent crime was up 5.6 percent from the 2019 number. Property crimes dropped 7.8 percent, marking the 18th consecutive year the collective estimates for these offenses declined.

The 2020 statistics show the estimated rate of violent crime was 387.8 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants, and the estimated rate of property crime was 1,958.2 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. The violent crime rate rose 5.2 percent when compared with the 2019 rate; the property crime rate declined 8.1 percent.

These and additional data are presented in the 2020 edition of the FBI's annual report Crime in the United States. This report is available as downloadable spreadsheets and topic pages about offenses, arrests, and police employee data reported by law enforcement agencies voluntarily participating in the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.

Pie chart depicting property crimes and violent crimes in the Crime in the United States, 2020 report.

The UCR Program collects information on crimes reported by law enforcement agencies regarding the violent crimes of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, as well as the property crimes of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. (The FBI classifies arson as a property crime but does not estimate arson data because of variations in the level of participation by the reporting agencies. Consequently, arson data is not included in the property crime estimate.) The program also collects arrest data for the offenses listed above and 20 offenses that include all other crimes except traffic violations.

Of the 18,619 federal, state, county, city, university and college, and tribal agencies eligible to participate in the UCR Program, 15,897 agencies submitted data in 2020. A high-level summary of the statistics submitted, as well as estimates for those agencies that did not report, follows:

  • In 2020, there were an estimated 1,277,696 violent crimes. When compared with the estimates from 2019, the estimated number of robbery offenses fell 9.3 percent and the estimated volume of rape (revised definition) offenses decreased 12.0 percent. The estimated number of aggravated assault offenses rose 12.1 percent, and the volume of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter offenses increased 29.4 percent.
  • Nationwide, there were an estimated 6,452,038 property crimes. The estimated numbers for two of the three property crimes showed declines when compared with the previous year's estimates. Burglaries dropped 7.4 percent, larceny-thefts decreased 10.6 percent, while motor vehicle thefts rose 11.8 percent.
  • Collectively, victims of property crimes (excluding arson) suffered losses estimated at $17.5 billion in 2020.
  • The FBI estimated law enforcement agencies nationwide made 7.6 million arrests, (excluding those for traffic violations) in 2020.
  • The arrest rate for violent crime was 147.9 per 100,000 inhabitants, and the arrest rate for property crime was 267.3 per 100,000 inhabitants.
  • By violent crime offense, the arrest rate for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter was 3.8 per 100,000 inhabitants; rape (aggregate total using the revised and legacy definition), 6.3; robbery, 21.0; and aggravated assault, 116.8 per 100,000 inhabitants.
  • Of the property crime offenses, the arrest rate for burglary was 45.7 per 100,000 inhabitants; larceny-theft, 193.1; and motor vehicle theft, 25.5. The arrest rate for arson was 3.0 per 100,000 inhabitants.
  • In 2020, 13,377 law enforcement agencies reported their staffing levels to the FBI. These agencies reported that, as of October 31, 2020, they collectively employed 696,644 sworn officers and 309,135 civilians-a rate of 3.4 employees per 1,000 inhabitants.

Caution Against Ranking-Each year when Crime in the United States is published, some entities use the figures to compile rankings of cities and counties. These rough rankings provide no insight into the numerous variables that mold crime in a particular town, city, county, state, tribal area, or region. Consequently, they lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents. Valid assessments are possible only with careful study and analysis of the range of unique conditions affecting each local law enforcement jurisdiction. The data user is, therefore, cautioned against comparing crime data of individual reporting units from cities, metropolitan areas, states, or colleges or universities solely on the basis of their population coverage or student enrollment.

Full Report

The downloadable files of Crime in the United States, 2020, are available on the UCR's Crime Data Explorer.

Responding to Domestic Violence

Responding to Domestic Violence

Just recently, your police officers responded to yet another felony domestic violence assault in Parsons. Two children were traumatized as was the victim in this unsafe relationship.

Domestic violence (both misdemeanor and felony incidents) account for a significant percentage of crime and violent crime in Parsons. Nothing new - that's historical. In 2020, the Parsons Police responded to a total of 176 domestic violence cases - one every 49 hours and 46 minutes.


Almost 1/3 of the City of Parsons Violent Crime derives from Felony Domestic Violence cases.

Domestic violence is not a private matter or a family problem; it is a crime that demands both a law enforcement and a community response. This pervasive problem cuts across cultural, ethnic, religious, and economic boundaries, and its consequences extend well beyond the significant harms inflicted directly upon battered women by their abusers.

Domestic violence also traumatizes the children who witness the violence in what should be their safest haven their own homes. These children are also frequently abused and are at higher risk for substance abuse, school failure, emotional and physical health problems, and particularly for boys' aggressive behavior that can escalate to violence. To further add to this tragedy, the abused partner is often unable to pay sufficient attention to the children's needs due to her own deteriorating physical and emotional health, substance abuse and/or lack of social and financial resources.

Helping women escape from violent partners substantially reduces the risk that they will continue to harm their children. Domestic violence laws have long presented such challenges to law enforcement agencies and their officers. The highly emotional, often violent atmosphere surrounding these situations, which often tear families apart, also place a heavy burden on the officers who respond to these disturbances.

To add to this burden, victims frequently hesitate to prosecute the assailant or seek shelter, because many still believe that domestic violence should be resolved by family members. Unfortunately, some citizens have this belief. For instance, the way society often views domestic violence is evident in a television commercial in which a couple preparing for bed overhears a violent argument coming from the apartment next door. The couple look at each other, look at the telephone, look back at each other and then turn the light off. The announcer says, "If their music was too loud, they would call the police."

While mandatory arrest laws help give the police a basic tool to remove an offender by arrest. The arrest is only a small piece of the pie. Parsons needs to bake a better pie with the community taking its responsibility seriously.

A multi-faceted approach is required from all the community entities that have a stake in the outcome.

Research confirms that many wife abusers are also child abusers, and the cycle is often repeated generation after generation. A recent study revealed that abused children are 38 percent more likely to commit violent crimes and be arrested as juveniles than non-abused children, because they learn most of their conflict resolution skills at home.

I have asked our Public Safety Advisory Board to address ways of bringing together community resources to include schools, public health, civic and fraternal organizations, the faith-based community and others to address domestic violence in Parsons. I hope that we can build a process that will provide direction to improve the way our community can intervene on behalf of children and other victims of domestic violence.