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Monthly Police Activity Report


Recruiting for Detective Sergeant & Victim Assistance Coordinator


April 2024 Monthly Report


Severe Weather is Expected Tonight

SEVERE WEATHER IS EXPECTED TONIGHT
 
The Parsons City Hall Shelter will be open at 6pm tonight to accomodate individuals seeking shelter during what is expected to be an evening of severe thunder storms.
 
Current forecasts appear to show a strong band of thunderstorms hitting Parsons around 9pm until past midnight. These forecasts can change quickly so make sure that you listen to radio, tv and online alerts.
 
The Parsons #503 School District has posted this note on their web site:
 
FYI: If a Tornado Warning is issued for Parsons this evening, the storm shelters at Garfield and Guthridge will be open, the storm shelter at Lincoln will not be open. If a trusted neighbor in the Lincoln area is interested in volunteering to open the Lincoln storm shelter during future Tornado Warnings, please contact the district office tomorrow. Thanks
 
Parsons Police Department
620-421-7060
 
You can signup on the Parsons Police Website to receive email and text alerts.

PREPARE FOR SEVERE WEATHER LATER TODAY - SAT 4/17-28-24

The National Weather Service has issued the following weather warning:
 
DAY ONE...Today and Tonight (Sat, April 27 & Sun, April 28)
 
Severe thunderstorms are expected, mainly this afternoon and evening ( a general estimate between 8 pm on Saturday and 6 am on Sunday - this is only an estimate, you are encouraged to monitor your weather information sources on TV, Radio and weather Apps). All hazards are possible, including large hail up to baseball size, damaging wind gusts to 75 mph and tornadoes.
 
The severe risk will transition into mainly a heavy rain threat later tonight across the Flint Hills and southeast Kansas where lowland flooding is possible.
 
DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...Sunday, April 28 through Friday, May 3
 
A slight risk for severe storms will continue for southeast Kansas on Sunday with a continued risk for heavy rainfall and flooding.
There will be more chances for thunderstorms across much of the area from late Tuesday through Thursday night. The risk for organized
severe storms appears low at this time for the mid-week periods.
 
Checkin at the Parsons (KS) Police Department Facebook page for on going updates.
 
Sign up to receive CODE RED ALERTS from County 911 at: https://labettecounty.com/emergency-communications-9-1-1
 
See it! Hear it! Report it!
Parsons Police Department
629-421-7060
 
Sign up to receive email/text alerts at: www.parsonspd.com
 
Sign up to participate in the police department's endorsed electronic/app for neighborhood watch at: www.NextDoor.com

ALERT - PHONY MEDICARE CALLS IN AND AROUND PARSONS

The Parsons Police Department has received citizen reports of phony Medicare calls in and around the Parsons area. The callers try to obtain social security numbers, Medicare ID numbers and other identifying information from unsuspecting individuals.

  • Medicare does not call you uninvited and ask you for personal or private information.
  • You will usually get a written statement in the mail before you get a phone call from a government agency.
  • Calls requesting health insurance information should not be trusted.

Medicare.gov advises that you take the following precautions:  

  • Never give your Medicare card, Medicare Number, Social Security card, or Social Security Number to anyone except your doctor or people you know should have it (like insurers acting on your behalf or people who work with Medicare, like your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) at: www.shiphelp.org
  • Do NOT accept offers of money or gifts for free medical care.
  • Don't allow anyone, except your doctor or other Medicare providers, to review your medical records or recommend services.
  • Never Join a Medicare health or drug plan over the phone unless YOU called Medicare.
  • If someone asks you for your information, for money, or threatens to cancel your health benefits if you don't share your personal details, hang up and call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or visit www.medicare.gov

Be vigilant. Scammers can be very convincing, and they may know a little - or a lot - about you, especially if they have access to some of your personal information already. Follow these simple tips to avoid spoofing scams::

  • Don't answer calls from unknown numbers.
  • If you answer and the caller isn't who you expected, hang up immediately.
  • Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother's maiden names, passwords or any other self-identifying response to an unexpected call.
  • Use caution if you are being pressured for information immediately.
  • If a caller claims to represent a health insurance provider or a government agency, simply hang up. You can then call back using a phone number on an account statement, in the phone book, or on an official website to verify the caller's authenticity.

Stay informed

"Medicare & You: Preventing Medicare Fraud," a YouTube video from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, advises you to "hang up the phone if someone calls and asks for your Medicare number." It also urges you to guard your Medicare number like you would your credit card numbers.

You can also file consumer complaints about phone scams with the FCC at: https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us or with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at; www.ftc.gov


Parsons PD Monthly Report for March 2024


Parsons Police Monthly Report

 


Chief Spinks Interview on BIG HILL SMALL TALK Podcast

The latest podcast from BIG HILL SMALL TALK features a frank interview with Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks. He covers policing challenges, juvenile crime, the future public safety center build, and so much more. Tune in for a fact filed discussion.

https://open.spotify.com/episode/20dQRKGJ16Ehw0EwkgiLQa

 


January Activity Report

January saw a slight increase in crashes over January 2023. A total of 13 crashes occurred in Parsons this January with 4 involving injuries. Much of this can be attributed to the snap of cold weather.

     A total of 62 arrests were made in January, comporable to 2023. Burglaries and thefts in town took a slight decline over last January's numbers. 

     Most concerning was the rise in domestic violence calls. Last month police handled 29 incidents, while January of 2023 ad just 13. Mental health calls with people in crisis was similar for the two Januarys with 22 this year and 18 last January.

     Dispatch handled 2,555 total phone calls which was down slightly from the year before.  But, 210 91-1-1 calls were received. Police responded to a total of 2,229 incidents in January, nearly tying last January. 

     Foot track into the police lobby soared to 1,000 people verse last January's total of just 380. 

     A total of 107 animal calls were handled this year with 26 impounded animals.

     Social media continues to surprise us. There are now over 5,100 Facebook followers, 282 Twitter followers and 818 households signed up with NextDoor.com. The police web site continues to be busy. In January there were 10,658 unique visits to www.parsonspd.com.


Parsons Police is Hiring Officers & Dispatchers


End of 2023 Snapshot Review.

As 2023 wrapped up the Parsons Police Department set new records. Most notable was the increase in arrests made. In 2023, 1,233 arrests were made. This was a ten year high, with 806 arrests made in 2022. This was a 35% increase in arrests.

The Parsons Lock-up processed nearly 600 bookings which totaled over 1,800 person days of incarceration. The lock-up usually holds prisoners long enough to prepare them for transfer to the Labette County Jail.

Drivers received good news with safer streets in Parsons. The number of crashes dropped to a ten-year low of 127 wrecks. This was an 8% reduction over the 2022 total of 138 crashes.

Officers and dispatchers alike were busy in 2023. Dispatchers answered 33,934 incoming phone calls and handled 2,658 emergency 9-1-1 calls (roughly a 26% increase). Officers were dispatched to 29,495 incidents ranging from the benign to the deadly. This was nearly an 8% increase just since 2022.

Animals continue to be a constant challenge. In 2023, 1,55 animal calls were handled and resulted in 537 animal impounds, the investigation of 26 animal bites and 94 Ferrel animals being trapped.

The power of the internet continues to amaze us. Our police website averages nearly 12,000 unique visitors every month. In less than -years our Facebook page acquired over 5,000 followers, and our NextDoor.com app (the electronic version of Neighborhood Watch), has participation by 20% of all Parsons' households.

Outreach continues to be important to provide transparency to the Parsons community. Consequently, the agency issued 79 press releases, conducted 28 radio and TV interviews, posted 44 podcasts on the PD website, and conducted 36 community presentations.


Winter Driving and Crime Prevention Tips

Winter Driving and Crime Prevention Tips

As your Chief of Police, I want to ensure the safety and well-being of our community, especially during the winter months when challenging weather conditions can pose unique risks. In collaboration with the National Highway Safety Administration and KDOT, I am pleased to share some essential tips for winter driving and crime prevention to help everyone stay safe and secure.

Winter Driving Tips:

  1. Plan Ahead: Check weather forecasts and road conditions before heading out. Allow extra time for your commute and plan your route accordingly.
  2. Vehicle Maintenance: Ensure your vehicle is winter-ready. Check your brakes, tires, battery, and fluids. Consider installing snow tires for added traction.
  3. Drive Cautiously: Slow down and maintain a safe following distance. Roads can be slippery, and visibility may be reduced. Use your headlights even during the day.
  4. Emergency Kit: Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle, including a blanket, non-perishable snacks, water, a flashlight, and a first aid kit.
  5. Stay Informed: Stay updated on weather and road conditions through reliable sources. Be aware of any road closures or advisories.

Crime prevention during winter months is also a partnership between citizens taking proactive prevention steps and officers on patrol. In 2023, well over 1,100 arrests were made by your police officers. But prevention is a far better investment than making an arrest after a crime has occurred. Help us, help you to be crime free in 2023. Here are simple crime prevention tips.

Crime Prevention Tips:

  1. Home Security: Ensure your home is secure. Lock all doors and windows and consider installing motion-activated lights around the property.
  2. Holiday Packages: If you are expecting packages, try to have them delivered to a secure location or ask a neighbor to collect them to prevent porch theft.
  3. Travel Plans: If you are planning to be away, let a trusted neighbor or friend know. They can keep an eye on your property and collect mail or newspapers to give the appearance that someone is home. Do not announce that you will be going on a trip on social media.
  4. Vehicle Safety: Avoid leaving valuables in your vehicle, especially in plain sight. Lock your car doors, and park in well-lit areas.
  5. Community Watch: Stay connected with your neighbors and consider signing up with NextDoor.com, the 21st Century electronic neighborhood watch. The Parsons Police Department has nearly 800 homes signed up on this electronic platform. Look out for one another and report any suspicious activity to the police at 620-421-7060.

By following these tips, we can all contribute to creating a safer and more secure community during the winter season. Remember, your safety is our top priority. If you have any concerns or need assistance, do not hesitate to contact your local law enforcement.

Wishing you a safe and enjoyable winter season.

Robert Spinks, MA, MS

Chief of Police - Parsons, KS


New Year's Eve Safety Tips

Welcome the new year on a good note with these party dos and don'ts.

You may be out late celebrating the new year. Welcome it in safely with these New Year's safety tips.

Be safe in the new year

Plan a ride in advance

On average, driving accidents rise during the holidays, so it's crucial to have a safe ride on a night when so many people are out and about. Don't assume you'll be able to hail a cab. Know your options in advance and decide whether you'll take public transportation, use a ridesharing service or carpool with your friends.

Plan for guests' safety

If you're hosting a party, you'll want to be sure your guests get home safely. One option might be to hire a driver for the evening to provide people a way to get home. Stop serving alcohol at least one hour before the party ends, provide additional food or snacks and ensure that guests do not drive after drinking.

Make a plan with your kids

Set a reasonable curfew with your kids for their New Year's Eve festivities. If they're old enough to drive, be sure they understand the dangers of driving on the holiday. Encourage them to stay in one location instead of hopping from party to party. Discuss dangers of driving distractions and how to avoid them. A teen passenger and teens driving with friends face a higher safety risk than teens driving alone.

Take care of your pets

New Year's Eve can cause high anxiety in pets. Keep them safe in the house and comfortable by drowning out loud outside sounds. If your pet has a history of high anxiety, consider consulting your vet for anxiety medication.

What to avoid on New Year's Eve

Avoid leaving your car overnight

New Year's Day is the most active holiday for car thefts. If you must leave your car somewhere overnight, be sure it's locked and try to pick it up as early as possible the next day. If you do decide to drive home, let someone know when you leave and when you arrive safely at home.


NORAD Track Santa

NORAD Tracks Santa is an annual Christmas-themed program in which North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) tracks Santa Claus, who is said to leave the North Pole to travel around the world on his mission to deliver presents to children every year on Christmas Eve. The program starts on December 1, but the actual Santa-tracking starts at midnight annually on December 23. It is a community outreach function of NORAD and has been held annually since 1955.

According to Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks, "NORAD claims to use radar and other technologies to track Santa, their website provides the tracking of Santa and displays predetermined location information to users. You will be able to see the time when SE Kansas and Parsons is visited by the Jolly Man himself by using the NORAD Stana Tracker web site or app."

You can visit the NORAD Tracks Santa web page at: www.noradsanta.org  or visit the App Store and search for 'NORAD Track Santa.' This is a free app.

"The Parsons Police Department 9-1-1 Center plugs into NORAD Command using the NORAD Tracks Santa web page. We provide NORAD and Santa with updated weather information for SE Kansas to assist Santa and his reindeer with the best possible routes to our local communities," says Parsons Communications Director Marti Shields.

NORAD relies on volunteers to make the program possible. Each volunteer handles about 40 telephone calls per hour and the team typically handles more than 12,000 e-mails and more than 100,000 telephone calls from more than 200 countries and territories. Most of these contacts happen during the 20 hours from 4 a.m. on December 24 until midnight MST on December 25.

You can learn about NORAD Headquarters, visit the Library at Santa's Village to learn about Santa, his magic sleigh, and holiday traditions or watch movies about Santa and NORAD at the Theater!

"The Parsons Police support this national program to expand the knowledge about Santa and the technology that is used today to ensure his safe passage through U.S. airspace.," said Deputy Chief Dennis Dodd.


Free Gun Locks for the Holidays

FREE GUN LOCKS AVAILABLE NOW!

Through a generous grant from the Parsons Area Community Foundation in partnership with the Parsons Police, Labette Sheriffs Office and the Parsons Chapter of Moms Demand Action, free gun locks are available for the Holiday Season at the front counter of the Parsons Police Department. 

"Practicing safe gun storage protects our kids, prevents accidents, and keeps guns out of the reach of criminals," said Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks.

Gun locks are available free 24 hours-a-day at the Parsons Police Front Lobby located at 217 North Central in Parsons.

Locks will be given away until the current supply is exhausted.

For additional gun safety rules checkout:

https://gunsafetyrules.nra.org/

 


Shop-With-A-Cop Needs You!

It's Never Too Late to Donate!

Thanks to the many people who donated to support Shop-With-A-Cop at the recent Main Street Christmas Concert that starred The Duke Mason Band! 

You can still make a donation if you missed the concert. We are collecting donations until Friday, December 15th. You can drop off a donation or make a check to the Parsons Police Department at 217 North Central, Parsons, KS  67357. Donations are accepted 24 hours-a-day at the front counter of the police department.

Help make this the best Christmas ever for children who need that extra helping hand during the holidays.

The Parsons Police Department's Shop with a Cop Program collaborates with the Parsons School District USD 503 and is a cherished initiative that aims to build positive relationships between law enforcement officers and local youth while providing them with an unforgettable holiday shopping experience. The program not only helps foster trust and understanding but also ensures that children of families who are struggling with hardships in the community have the opportunity to enjoy a festive season.

"We are extremely grateful for the overwhelming support we received during the Duke Mason Concert," said Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks. "The generosity of the community and the success of this event will make a significant impact on our Shop with a Cop Program, allowing us to bring joy to even more children in need."

The funds raised will go directly towards ensuring that the Parsons Police Department can continue its Shop with a Cop Program, providing local children with the opportunity to create lasting memories during the holiday season.


Shop With A Cop Needs You!

Mark your calendars to attend the Main Street Christmas Concert on Saturday, December 2nd at 7pm at the Parsons City Auditorium at 112 South 17th in Parsons.

The headline group will be The Duke Mason Band!

In the spirit of giving to others during the holiday season, a freewill offering will be taken to help support the Parsons Police Department's SHOP WITH A COP Program.

For more information, call 620-421-7032 or visit: www.parsonsauditorium.com

Funds raised got to the SHOP WITH A COP Program. The more donations raised - the more kids that can be helped!


Parsons Public Safety Fair is Coming To Town!

Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 21st from 10 am to 4 pm and come out to the 2nd Annual Parsons Public Safety Fair. Police, Fire, EMS and Med-Flight along with other helping agencies will be on-site.

There will be a ton of safety information and displays. The irst 500 attendees will receive a FREE Child Identification Kit!

The Fair will be at the Parsons Convention Center at 1500 Cattlemans Drive right next door to the Holiday Inn Express.

Don't miss this fun filled and exciting event!We'll see you at the Fair.


K9 Karim Update

The Labette County Sheriff's Office and Parsons Police Department are sharing a joint update on the review of K9 Karim's passing.

As previously shared in the media the Sheriff's Office was asked to review our K9's passing with an outside investigative eye. That investigation continues. AT the same time the Parsons Police Department placed the K9 Handler on administrative leave and opened a personnel investigation to determine if any policy or work rules had been violated.

K9 Karim was taken to the Kansas State University, College of Veterinary Medicine. A legal (in depth) necropsy was performed by the College's Diagnostic Laboratory staff. The final report has not yet been completed and both the Sheriff's Office and police department are awaiting that report.

In talking with the Chief Pathologist, the results of the toxicology tests are expected soon. These tests go along with the physical examination for poison, medical conditions, communicable disease tests, examination of organs for any chronic disease, etc.

The Handler is represented by private counsel and has been interviewed by the Sheriff's Office along with other individuals. Because of a scheduling conflict with the Handlers attorney the police personnel interview (called a Garrity Interview) is waiting for the attorney to return to work. 

This investigation, like all police work, is designed to find the facts. To rush to judgment or to take shortcuts would not only be a disservice to the Handler but would be an affront to K9 Karim.

The Sheriff and I have nearly 80 years of combined police expertise along with direct experience with K9 program supervision and management. From the start of this process, we said that the outcome of the joint investigations would be shared as would the necropsy report.

K9 Karim remains a loved and respected member of the Parsons Police Department. He is respected and missed by every officer and staff member at the police department. We worked with Karim, played with Karim, and miss his presence each and every day.

For anyone in the social media world to suggest anything else is asinine. Neither agency will respond to the rare but nonsensical posts in social media, but we will continue to use our media contacts and social media platforms to update the public.

Through joint investigations the City Manager, City Commission and local media have received updates.

On Friday, September 22nd Deputy Chief Dodd, Lt Ludwig and myself picked up K9 Karim's cremation ashes at KSU. We met with the diagnostic staff and presented them with K9 Challenge Coins and thanked them for their professional and caring handling of K9 Karim. 

It was a long and sorrowful drive back to Parsons with K9 Karim. K9 Karim turned over to the Wall Funeral Home where he will be cared for until his memorial service is scheduled. That service will be held after the investigations into his passing are completed. 

The memorial service will be held at City Hall in the municipal auditorium, date and time will be announced later.

We appreciate the donations received in K9 Karim's memory and those have been placed into the Police K9 Foundation account at the Parsons Area Community Foundation.

Chief and DC Dodd Delivering Cremains

Chief Spinks and DC Dodd at KSU