Violent Crime: Is Crime Major or Minor?
By Chief Robert Spinks, Parsons Police 10/19/2020
When was the last time you saw or heard about a purse snatcher, a robbery, or a violent assault in Parsons?
The FBI uses a measure of Murder, Rape, Robbery and Aggravated Assaults to create a community's violate crime data. By dividing the population into the number of these select id grouped crimes (violent crime) you can create a 'crime rate.'
Interesting, but violent crime must be rampant in Parsons since we hear that on social media. Right?
Every community is unique. Every city wrestles with its own demons. By far the largest demon in Parsons is felony domestic assaults. If that single crime was eliminated, then our community's violent crime plunges.
Certainly, any crime, violent or persons based, or property is too much, especially if you are the victim.
4.5% of the 16,202 incidents that Parsons Police responded to in 2019 involved an incident defined as a violent crime by the FBI.
Parsons dirty secret is that our worst crime occurs not on our streets or alleys, in dark parks or school campuses. The crimes of felony domestic assault (53) and misdemeanor domestic violence (182) as well as rape (8) and even murder (1) have a common thread of partner abuse.
But what about drugs, shootings in the street, and mayhem?
Mayhem is not Parsons. Yes, SE Kansas has long been plagued by illegal drugs - though less than in the glory days of meth and backyard meth labs of a decade ago. Drugs to bring armed confrontation.
The largest issue is that the police continue to make arrests at a substantive rate. Not every crime is solved, but our rate of solvability usually hovers at twice the national average. Last year 671 criminals were booked into the Parsons lock-up serving over 3,000-man days, with many then headed to the Labette County Jail.
But you cannot arrest a community out of crime. Every arrest that is made is a community failure. An arrest is the last option society has to try and remove someone from circulation. But about 98% of all arrestees and incarcerated folks in prison eventually return to local streets.
If socio-economic woes, lack of education, inadequate mental health and helping services as well as safety nets that also include the faith-based community aren't available or have huge holes in their net then we will continue to see revolving doors of victimization.
2019 FBI defined Violent Crime (73 Violent Crimes or 1 every 5 days) :
55 Aggravated Assaults
Halloween is right around the corner! Kids love this holiday because they can dress up and get free candy! Let us help your kids have some good Halloween memories with a few safety tips.
Some of you kids already know things that you can do to be safe, like how to cross the street, not to talk to or go with strangers and things like that. However, we adults know how exciting Halloween can be and sometimes you forget to be careful.
Here are some tips that we have just for you kids, to help keep you safe on Halloween night.
- Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
- Plan a trick-or-treating route in familiar neighborhoods with well-lit streets.
- Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. WALK and don't run from house to house.
- Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.
- Be careful when you cross a street. Make sure to look in both directions and make sure that there are no cars coming. If you have a little brother or sister with you, take their hand and help them get across the street, too. If the street has a stop light, wait until the cross walk light tells you that it is okay to cross now, but still check before you cross, look both ways.
- Choose bright costumes, and have children carry flashlights or glow sticks so they are easily visible. (Hint - Try adding reflective tape to costumes and candy bags!)
- Never, ever go into a strangers house or even ring their door for treats unless your parents are with you and say that it's okay.
- Always walk younger children to the door to receive treats.
- Be sure children do not approach any vehicle, occupied or not, unless you are with them.
- Never accept rides from strangers.
- Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.
- Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
- Make sure children know your cellphone number, their home telephone number, and address in case you are separated.
- Consider giving them a cellphone so they can reach you easily.
- Teach children how to call 911 in an emergency.
Teach children to say "NO!" in a loud voice if someone tries to get them to go somewhere, accept anything other than a treat, or leave with them. Tell them to try everything they can to escape, including yelling, hitting, and kicking.
Parsons Police wishes that you have a safe and happy Halloween!
We are excited about this new feature to the website. Please check back often for thoughts and information from Chief Spinks.
Please check back soon to see our new website blog!