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New Community Survey

Parsons Community Survey

The Parsons, KS Police Department invites you to take part in an important community survey! This is your chance to voice your thoughts on public safety and policing. Partnering with Police2Peace, a national non-profit dedicated to enhancing community policing, we're eager to hear from you.

This 19-question survey is quick, voluntary, and completely anonymous. Funded by a US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) grant, it covers your experiences, comfort levels, protection, training, and visibility of our police force.

Don't miss this opportunity to shape the future of policing in Parsons. The survey is open until July 26, 2024. Share your insights and help us serve you better!



Monthly Police Activity Report

Recruiting for Detective Sergeant & Victim Assistance Coordinator

April 2024 Monthly Report

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
You can signup on the Parsons Police Website to receive email and text alerts.


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:
See it! Hear it! Report it!
Parsons Police Department
Sign up to receive email/text alerts at:
Sign up to participate in the police department's endorsed electronic/app for neighborhood watch at:


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. 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:
  • 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

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: or with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at;

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.


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 The police web site continues to be busy. In January there were 10,658 unique visits to

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 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, 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:  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


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:


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:

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

Traffic Fines Must Bring in a Bundle! for City Hall!

We're Listening - A Citizen Asked a Question . . .

Traffic Fines Must Bring in a Bundle for City Hall, Right?



A few weeks ago, the police staff noticed a discussion on Facebook, with citizens making comments and some wildly inaccurate statements about traffic enforcement and ticket revenue. We all know that traffic tickets are the easy way to balance any city budget and pull in tons of revenue, right?




The police department emphasizes the use of the lowest level of enforcement to gain the highest level of voluntary compliance. Officers have discretion to issue a verbal warning, written warning and/or traffic citations or in the case of traffic crimes make an arrest. Officers look at the totality of circumstances when enforcing traffic laws, not at generating the most citations. The ultimate goal with traffic enforcement is to reduce traffic crashes and ensure the safety of not only vehicles but also pedestrians and bicyclists. Traffic enforcement is not a huge revenue generator for the City, and it should not be. The revenue generated from tickets and arrests is listed below along with the cost of operating the municipal court, jail costs and medical care of prisoners.


The result of our efforts with traffic enforcement has been a multi-year reduction in traffic crashes, and that is the primary reason for traffic enforcement. There are secondary reasons - we find many, many wanted people driving, we make drug arrests and seize illegal narcotics from traffic stops, not to mention suspended drivers or individuals with no vehicle insurance.


Oh, we hear about a one or two Facebook warriors complaining about seatbelt enforcement. Yet only 3% of all traffic citations last year involved a seatbelt violation, usually with a warning for some other driving violation.  


How Many Tickets?


Let's take a look at revenue from those pesky traffic tickets. First, not everyone that our officers stop for a traffic violation receives a ticket. We want officers to use common sense in their enforcement. They have the discretion (as all police have) to look at the totality of the circumstances for each vehicle stop. Does it make the most sense to issue a verbal warning, a written warning, issue a citation for one violation or several?


Of the 2,040 vehicle stops made last year, 736 citations were issued or roughly 36% of vehicle stops resulted in a traffic ticket.




Ok, you might say, but what about that big bundle of money that City Hall must get from tickets as well as other misdemeanor crimes like disorderly conduct, assaults, and thefts? The Municipal Court must be a real money maker, right?


Wrong Again.


In 2020 the net positive revenue from municipal court cases was $1,295.08 which went to the City's General Fund, in 2021 $14,274.25 went to the General Fund, and in 2022 $15,075.48 went to the General Fund.


Where did all of the money go then? Court operations, assessment fees that are required to be paid to the State, daily jail charges for prisoners lodged in the county jail on municipal charges (misdemeanors) and prisoner medical costs.


You can see the play-by-play costs associated with enforcing misdemeanor and traffic charges by visiting our NEW Traffic Safety Corner page on the Parsons Police web site at:




Recruiting for Police Depatcher

August Monthly Activity Report


Calls for service totaled 2,606 in August that were handled by officers with the year-to-date total being 19,584. 

Officers continued to be active responding to community needs in August. Officers made 127 arrests bringing the year-to-date total to 875. This exceeds the total for the entire year of 2022 which had 803 arrests. 

Crimes against persons (murder, rape, robbery, assault) involved 3 battery's in August. While crimes against property (burglary, theft, criminal damage) totaled 5 burglaries (YTD 83), 54 thefts (YTD 340), and 8 criminal damage reports (YTD 129).

Domestic violence continues to be a significant community problem with 44 domestic violence cases in August. The YTD total for DV cases hit 253. The 2022 total number of domestic violence cases was 121. The previous 5-year trend for domestic violence had been trending down in 2020 through 2022.

Previous year totals for domestic violence were 168 in 2018, 182 in 2019, 176 in 2020, 136 in 2021, and 121 in 2022.

There was a total of 12 crashes with 1 involving injuries and the rest being property damage. YTD there have been 86 crashes. With the current year-to-date trend, the 2023 total for crashes may come in just below the 2022 total of 138.

Dispatch remains a busy area in the police department, they handled 3,327 incoming phone calls (YTD 24,527) with an additional 286 9-1-1 Emergency Calls were received (YTD 1,895). The police lobby handled 435 citizen visits to the police department (YTD 3,127).

Our Community Service Officer (CSO) Program responded to 165 animal calls (YTD 1,202) and impounded 56 animals (YTD 371).

July Monthly Report


Calls for service totaled 2,454 in June that were handled by officers with the year-to-date total being 14,475. 

Officers continued to be active responding to community needs in May. Officers made 97 arrests bringing the year to date total to 648. 

Crimes against persons (murder, rape, robbery, assault) involved 2 battery's in May. While crimes against property (burglary, theft, criminal damage) totaled 10 burglaries (YTD 64), 50 thefts (YTD 253), and 17 criminal damage reports (YTD 412).

Domestic violence continues to be a significant community problem with 17 domestic violence cases in May. The YTD total for DV cases hit 176.

There were a total of 8 crashes with 3 involving injuires and the rest being property damage. YTD there have been 63 crashes.

Dispatch remains a busy area in the police department, they handled 3,452 incoming phone calls (YTD 17,877) with an additional 295 9-1-1 Emergency Calls were received. The police lobby handled 395 citizen visits to the police department (YTD 2,272).

Our Community Service Officer (CSO) Program responded to 102 animal calls (YTD 804) and impounded 55 animals (YTD 255).

Big Hill Small Talk Podcast with Chief Spinks

I recently sat down with Ike and Cameron Reitemeier for their 'Big Hill Small Talk' podcast. This weekly podcast is a local production that hosts a wide range of local and regional leaders, performers, story tellers and more from SE Kansas.

We talked about crime, perceptions of crime, the struggle with recruitment and retention, the impacts of social media and the need for greater transparency in policing, and so much more. Of course we talked about the revolving door of justice and the impact that the court system has on public safety.

Tune in to hear a candid interview:




Calls for service totaled 2,606 in May that were handled by officers with the year-to-date total being 12,122. 

Officers continued to be active responding to community needs in May. Officers made 205 arrests bringing the year to date total to 551. 

Crimes against persons (murder, rape, robbery, assault) involved 1 battery in May. While crimes against property (burglary, theft, criminal damage) totaled 11 burglaries (YTD 54), 44 thefts (YTD 203), and 19 criminal damage reports (YTD 335).

Domestic violence continues to be a significant community problem with 46 domestic violence. May saw 46 DV cases bringing the YTD total to 159.

There were a total of 10 crashes with two involving injuires and the rest being property damage.

Dispatch remains a busy area in the police department, they handled 3,079 incoming phone calls (YTD 14,425) ith an additional 277 9-1-1 Emergency Calls were received. The police lobby handled 375 citizen visits to the police department (YTD 1,877).

Our Community Service Officer (CSO) Program responded to 137 animal calls (YTD 702) and impounded 48 animals (YTD 200).

Mental Illness & Family Safety Nets

     You can call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline crisis line (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) which provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States. The Lifeline is comprised of a national network of over 200 local crisis centers, combining custom local care and resources with national standards and best practices.
     Anyone can experience mental health problems. Friends and family can make all the difference in a person's recovery process.
Supporting a Friend or Family Member with Mental Health Problems
Talking to friends and family about mental health problems can be an opportunity to provide information, support, and guidance. Learning about mental health issues can lead to:
* Improved recognition of early signs of mental health problems
* Earlier treatment
* Greater understanding and compassion
If a friend or family member is showing signs of a mental health problem or reaching out to you for help, offer support by:
* Finding out if the person is getting the care that he or she needs and wants-if not, connect him or her to help. Labette Health can be contacted at 620-421-3770 or visit them at 1730 Belmont in Parsons, KS.
* Expressing your concern and support
* Reminding your friend or family member that help is available and that mental health problems can be treated
* Asking questions, listening to ideas, and being responsive when the topic of mental health problems come up
* Reassuring your friend or family member that you care about him or her
* Offering to help your friend or family member with everyday tasks
* Including your friend or family member in your plans-continue to invite him or her without being overbearing, even if your friend or family member resists your invitations.
     Seek immediate assistance if you think your friend or family member is in danger of harming themselves. You can call a crisis line at 988.
     In patient mental health care in Kansas is limited. The police become involved when an individual is a danger to themselves or others. Or when there is a crime.
     Family members are encouraged to take responsibility in providing a safety net and support for loved ones suffering from a mental health problem.
     Removing firearms and weapons from being accessed by individuals with mental health problems is a common sense step. Firearms can become a means of suicide or can be turned on others.
     The Future for mental health crisis calls should not be dumped on the police alone. Parsons Police responds to up to 400 crisis calls annually. Most are successfully de-escalated, others result in a mental health commitment, some require a criminal arrest and in some circumstances the police will not have legal authority to take a person into custody.
     Isn't it time for Parsons and a community to provide resources to people increase that doesn't include an armed police officer as the primary if not the only responder? Parsons PD and the policing professional thing it's long overdue.
     Most of these crisis calls are health care incidents that require mental health professionals. The fire service which has excess capacity to respond and are already trained as EMT's can be a source to build a multidisciplinary response with mental health providers to better serve our community.

Statement of the IACP on the Death of Tyre Nichols in Tennessee

The death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of Memphis (TN) police officers is appalling and indefensible.  

The brutality suffered by Mr. Nichols and the failure of any of these individuals to intervene is sickening and leaves everyone, including police officers, disgusted, infuriated, and outraged. Our thoughts go out to Mr. Nichols' family, his friends, colleagues, and community.  

The individuals involved have rightly been fired and criminally charged in the death of Tyre Nichols. There is no excuse for their actions. They have betrayed their oath of office, disgraced the law enforcement profession, and brought shame on the officers across the nation who work selflessly each day to protect their communities.    

As police leaders we remain committed to emphasizing dignity and respect for all and instilling within our agencies a fundamental commitment to the preservation of human life.  But we must, and will, do more. We must remain committed to working together in partnership with community members, advocacy organizations, elected officials, and others to build a future that ensures dignity, security, and justice for all. 

Statement from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)

Endorsed by Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks (Life Member of IACP)


The 12 Days of Holiday Safety

The 12 Days of Holiday Safety


In the true spirit of the season, and to help keep family and friends out of harm's way, here are some tips and helpful hints for The 12 Days of Holiday Safety:

On the First Day - prepare for the holidays and safety. Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector, smoke alarm, fire extinguisher and a first aid kit. If you live in an apartment or are staying in a hotel, know where the fire alarms and emergency exits are located.


On the Second Day -  make a plan. Your family may not be together when an emergency occurs. Plan how to meet or how to contact one another, and discuss what you would do in different situations.


On the Third day - think about special needs. Establish a personal support network of friends, relatives, health-care providers, and neighbors who understand your personal needs. Write down details about accommodation needs, allergies, family medical history, medical conditions, etc.


On the Fourth Day - decorate with safety in mind. Never leave burning candles unattended and keep them away from children and pets, decorations and wrapping paper. Cut candlewicks short to prevent a high flame, and if candles are used in a centerpiece, make sure candles don't burn low enough to ignite decorations.


On the Fifth Day -  make your tree safe. When buying a real tree, check that it is fresh (needles are hard to pull off). Water the tree daily - trees can consume up to a gallon of water a day. Place the tree away from high traffic areas, doorways, heating vents, radiators, stoves, fireplaces and burning candles. If young children are around, use safe decorations.

On the Sixth Day - keep lights bright. Make sure you use indoor lights inside your home and outdoor lights outside. Check the light strings and extension cords, throwing out any that are frayed or have exposed wires, loose connections or broken sockets. Never run electrical cords through doorways or under carpets. Turn off all holiday lights before you go to bed or leave your home.

On the Seventh Day -  choose appropriate toys. Always follow age recommendations when choosing toys for children.


On the Eighth Day -     get ready for severe winter weather. Blizzards, ice storms, and high winds can develop quickly. Set up weather alarms on your smart phone or listen to local radio or television stations for severe weather warnings and



On the Ninth Day -  prepare your car for an emergency. Install winter tires and make sure windshield washer fluid is always filled. Prepare a kit to keep in your vehicle in case of an emergency, with items such as a blanket, a candle in a deep can and matches, and first aid kit with a seat belt cutter.

On the 10th Day -  prevent illness. A flu shot is the safest and most effective way to prevent infection, reduce the severity of the symptoms if you do get sick, and to keep from spreading the virus to others.


On the 11th Day -    learn first aid. Knowing first aid could save a life.


On the 12th Day- know the risks. All across the United States, we face a number of natural disasters, such as earthquakes and wildfires in California, blizzards in Dakota, ice storms in Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma and Winter Snowstorms in the Northeast and Midwest. Knowing the risks where you are can help you better prepare and eliminate stress... especially during the holiday season.

Main Street Christmas Concert!


Mark your calendar to attend the Main Street Christmas Concert on Saturday, December 3rd at 7 pm at the Parsons Municipal Auditorium. The performance is free, but a freewill offering will be taken to raise funds for the Parsons Police Shop-With-A-Cop Program.

Please consider a donation to the Parsons Shop-With-A-Cop Program this season.

You can also make a donation yourself, as a business or as a civic or social organization to support the holidays needs of children and families who need help to ensure that every child enjoys the spirit of Christmas.


Donations can be dropped off or mailed to:


  1. Parsons Police Department - 217 Central, Parsons, KS 67357
  2. Parsons City Hall - Water Dept - 112 South 17th, Parsons, KS 67357

On behalf of all of the members of the Parsons Police Department, know that we are honored to serve you, and we would like to wish you a Happy, Safe and Sane Thanksgiving!


Thank you for your support!

Robert Spinks, MA, MS

Chief of Police


Thanksgiving Season is Here!

During the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to share my thanks and appreciation for each of you. I admire our community for it is one that is strong, caring, and committed to serving one another and supportive of our police department. We are a community where we continue to strive for diversity, inclusion, critical thinking, and freedom of speech by all. 

The law enforcement profession is going through a very difficult era.  The men and women of the Parsons Police Department view these challenges as an opportunity to provide exceptional customer service to our residents knowing how much support Parsons residents have demonstrated to our Department on a daily basis.

As we train new officers to join our ranks, our core policing staff are working extended 12-hour shifts with limited days off. Please recognize the sacrifice these men and women make every day to ensure your safety and the safety of our community. They have already exceeded the arrest total from last year of 681 criminals. So far this year 737 criminals have been removed from the streets of Parsons. Nearly 4,000 people have visited the front lobby at YOUR police department; dispatchers have processed almost 23,000 requests for service.

Unfortunately, we have had a handful of injuries to officers this year, some required surgery. From sprains, torn ligaments, knee and back injuries - assaults on officers are up here and across the nation. Please keep my staff in your thoughts and prayers throughout the holiday season which is a busy time for law enforcement nationwide.

Thanksgiving is an opportunity to realize that we have much for which we can be thankful. This truly American holiday allows us to focus on our blessings and the freedoms we enjoy. It's inspiring to see the men and women of the Parsons Police Department working to help make our community a better place. Thanks to everyone for your contributions to our wonderful community.

Please consider a donation to the Parsons Shop-With-A-Cop Program this season. Mark your calendar to attend the Main Street Christmas Concert on Saturday, December 3rd at 7 pm at the Parsons Municipal Auditorium. The performance is free, but a freewill offering will be taken to raise funds for the Parsons Police Shop-With-A-Cop Program.

You can also make a donation yourself, as a business or as a civic or social organization to support the holidays needs of children and families who need help to ensure that every child enjoys the spirit of Christmas.


Donations can be dropped off or mailed to:


  1. Parsons Police Department - 217 Central, Parsons, KS 67357
  2. Parsons City Hall - Water Dept - 112 South 17th, Parsons, KS 67357

On behalf of all of the members of the Parsons Police Department, know that we are honored to serve you, and we would like to wish you a Happy, Safe and Sane Thanksgiving!


Thank you for your support!

Robert Spinks, MA, MS

Chief of Police

Police Police Dispatch is Setting Records

The Parsons Police Department operates its own 911 Dispatch Center. This allows for the front lobby of the police department to remain open 24-hours-a-day. Dispatchers are also crucial in monitoring the CCTV feed from the agency's 6 cell Lock-Up. A Lock-Up can hold a prisoner for up to 30 days while a Jail can hold a sentenced prisoner for up to a year.

Parsons Police Dispatch is busy and its on track to beat the 2021-year record of handling 34,724 incoming phone calls while dispatching 25,625 incidents along with answering 1,935 9-1-1 calls. Dispatch also greeted an estimated 4,500 persons who visited the police front lobby.

"The nerve center of the Police department is our dispatch center," says Lt Jason Ludwig. "Marti Shields is our Dispatch Director, and we work together to ensure that calls are received and dispatched, but there is a host of infrastructure to maintain. Transmitters, storm sirens, connection to the state radio system, computers and video monitoring are costly and time-consuming. Dispatchers not only manage calls and dispatching of police, but they are the first contact citizens have when they come to the lobby of the police department."

Shields has been on a continuous training cycle with new dispatchers. The competition among 9-1-1 centers to recruit and retain dispatchers is just as fierce as it is for departments recruiting police officers.

The complete remodel and update to the Parsons dispatch center in 2020 brought the center into the 21st century.

"The upgrades to the dispatch center have been well received by our staff. New equipment updated

dispatch stations, new wall mounted monitors and upgrades to our dispatch software make the work environment so much better," said Shields. "It can be an extremely busy part of the police department where dispatchers are truly the 1st Responders. 1st Responders - it usually all starts right here."



The Main Street Christmas Concert comes to Parsons on Saturday, December 3rd at 7 pm at the Parsons Municipal Auditorium. The performance is free, but a freewill offering will be taken to raise funds for the Parsons Police Shop-With-A-Cop Program.
You can also make a donation yourself, as a business or as a civic or social organization to support the holidays needs of children and families who need help to ensure that every child enjoys the spirit of Christmas.
Donations can be dropped off or mailed to:
1. Parsons Police Department - 217 Central, Parsons, KS 67357
2. Parsons City Hall - Water Dept - 112 South 17th, Parsons, KS 67357
See It! Hear It! Report It!
Parsons Police
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Veterans Day Thank You


Veteran's Day, celebrated on November 11th every year, is a tribute to military veterans who have served in the United States Armed Forces. It is a day of remembering the sacrifices of those who have fought to protect our country.

This special day is set aside to honor US veterans and victims of all wars. This holiday is a celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

As the Son of a Pearl Harbor Survivor, my Father was serving on the USS Ralph Talbot, a destroyer that was anchored just off of battleship row in Pearl Harbor Bay on December 7, 1941. So Veterans Day is of special importance to me.

The Men and Women of YOUR Parsons Police Department are humbled by the bravery and courage of the veterans in our community and our country - they are our neighbors, our friends, our families, and our loved ones. We want to thank all our veterans and their families for keeping our country safe.

I especially want to reconize those Veterans who are on our police staff:

Lt. Jason Ludwig - US Navy 1997-2001, engineman third class; US Army 2004-2006, combat engineer, one tour in Iraq.

Sgt Brice Dickens - US Army 2008-2017, military police.

Cpl Kyle Shields - US Marine Corps, 2011-2016, military police, one tour in Afghanistan.

Officer Mark Raney - US Marine Corps, 1986-2010, retired Major, multiple deployments.

Officer Blake Sanchez - US Army, 2017-2019, E-3.

Officer Sean McCullough - US Army, 2014-2018, Sergeant, Afghanistan.

Dispatcher Marshall Sills - US Army, 2007-2008, Combat Engineer

We strongly encourage everyone to think of our veterans and thank them when you see them. We support and honor our veterans, not just on Veteran's Day but every day of the year.

Results for Public Safety Sales Tax

The current numbers are obviously not what 1st Responders would want to see for the Public Safety Sales Tax. The unofficial final vote had 2,214 votes cast with 881 yes votes (39.79%) and 1,333 no votes (60.21%),
Of course the police and fire departments will need to caucus with City Hall to evaluate needs against resources.
This measure would not have taken effect until January of 2024 so we have some time to evaluate key needs. Stopping the bleed of loosing police and firefighters to better paid agencies is a key hole that must be plugged. Without a career workforce we are grinding up good employees who are working excessive overtime with little time off. That is not sustainable and it's not efficient.
Fire truck replacement, upgrading the emergency radio system, police vehicles and safety equipment are key expenses. Those needs don't stop.
The sales tax would have reduced the burden off of just Parsonians and would have included other citizens and visitors that use city services.
Obviously, the City Commissioners and City Manager will have serious budget issues to look at closely with a need for a strategic vision moving forward. That includes addressing what will be a blow to 1st Responders morale.
We would of course like to hear feedback from the community. Should service be reduced, staffing liminated, what's truly important to citizens from the fire and police departments. Drop us a note at: 

Public Safety Sales Tax - Police Officers & Firefighters

Tuesday, November 8th is a big day for a host of issues. The Public Safety Sales tax is a big issue - not to just help build a future Public Safety Center but to also provide competitive wages, recruit/retain experienced police officers and firefighters, purchase a new fire truck, police and fire training, safety equipment and capital equipment.


For the past quarter century Parsons has been a training ground churning out trained police officers and firefighters for other departments in Kansas. Since 2009, nearly 100 police employees have left for better paying police and private sector jobs. That has been a huge loss in training and knowledge and a huge loss to our community.


How much more effective YOUR fire and police department would be if both were fully staffed with trained and experienced men and women.


The recent cycle of cherry-picking of police and fire staff to higher paying agencies has hit hard. The current labor market has made 1st Responders a valuable commodity here and across Kansas and the nation.


When fully staffed, Parsons PD should have 26 officers. Twenty would be assigned to Patrol, four to Investigations and two to Administration. Today, 10 officers are working patrol, and investigations is currently unstaffed.


To provide 3 patrol units 24/7 requires the staff to work mandatory overtime working three 12-hour days with two off. That can total up to 24 hrs of overtime a week. That is not a sustainable operation either from a budget or family life perspective.


The Public Safety Sales Tax vote on Tuesday will allow the police and fire departments to retain staff as career employees.


Learn more at:



Note: This factual information does not propose either a yes or no vote. This information is provided as a public service in compliance with state election laws.


Public Safety Sales Tax - Tuesday, Nov 8th Vote

Throughout the last nine years, the one-half-cent Public Safety Sales Tax has helped the city keep increased costs of infrastructure off the backs of City residents by reducing the risk of increases from being dumped onto the general city property tax. This small equally distributed sales tax, has allowed the City to cover the cost by funding new fire trucks, police patrol cars, upgrades to the police/fire radio system, modernization of the dispatch/911 center and other critical emergency and City wide infrastructure.


This special, voted on by the citizens, sales tax reduces the cost burden that residents would otherwise shoulder through traditional property taxes. An equally distributed sales tax allows city residents as well as those who visit the community or those who shop in the city but live outside the city to contribute to sustaining these emergency and other City services.


On Tuesday, November 8th, Parsons' voters will be asked to increase the current one-half-cent sales tax to a one penny sales tax effect on January 1, 2024. The extended Public Safety Sales tax will run over a ten-year period. The sales tax initiative, if passed, will continue to fund police and fire capital needs (fire trucks, patrol vehicles, rapid response systems). It will also provide substantive funding for a new City of Parsons Public Safety Center that will house the Parsons Police Department and the Parsons Fire Department. In addition to helping ensure that first responders have salaries and compensation comparable to surrounding communities.


The current public safety sales tax has been in effect for 9 years and will sunset on December 31, 2023.


According to Brad Boss, Parsons Fire Chief, "The cost to replace old fire equipment is significant, if we don't maintain a positive ISO rating we risk increased insurance costs that could hit Parsons' residents in the pocketbook." The Public Safety Sales Tax has and would continue to ensure that we meet the standards set by the Insurance Services Office (ISO). Since 2015, The City of Parsons has been able to maintain an ISO Fire rating of 3, ISO ratings go from a high of 1 to the worst score of 10.

The Parsons Fire Department maintains a Class 3 rating placing the City of Parsons in the top 7 ½ % of the states 948 rated fire departments. (1) Something every citizen can be proud of.


"Both Parsons' fire and police department's employees have been lured away by private industry and other police and fire departments offering a higher pay structure," said Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks. "This is a continuing challenge, which has plagued our city for as long as 25 years where both departments have averaged a 20% annual loss of staff to other employers," Chief Spinks continued, "It is about wages and total compensation. With the current challenges facing employers, recruitment and retention have got to be a priority for the City first responders. The Public Safety Sales Tax will provide resources to ensure that our two departments at least have parity to the surrounding agencies in Southeast Kansas."


  1.     according to Verisk @ The Public Safety Sales Tax contributes toward maintaining this high rating

Open Enrollment at Labette Community College

Labette Community College (LCC) and economic development are the community's two most important crime prevention programs. LCC offers the ability for students of all ages to improve their economic standing through training, certificate and degree programs. That contributes to our community's economic vitality and ultimately reduces crime.
If you are interested in the criminal justice field enroll in CRIM-111 Patrol Procedures (tues 6pm to 9pm), with Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks, MA, MS who will share insight gained from his 4 decades of policing expertise.
Independence Chief Jerry Harrison and KBI Senior Special Agent Chris Farris round out the criminal justice faculty that will be teaching this Spring.
CRIM-112 Ethics (On-Line) Independence Chief Jerry Harrison
CRIM-137 Criminal Law (On-Line) KBI Sr Spl Agent Chris Farris
CRIM-138 Juvenile Justice System (On-Line) Chris Farris
CRIM-204 Police Supervision & Mgt (MW 12:30 to 1:50pm) Vice-President of Academic Affairs (former Chief of Police @ Parsons PD
Check out your future at:
Jobs in the criminal justice field from police officer, deputy sheriff, KHP Trooper, KBI, as well as 911 Dispatcher/Telecommunicator are are growth field with many opportunities locally and across Kansas.

5 tips for a fun, not frightful, Halloween night!


Halloween is CREEPING up on us! The Parsons Police Department wishes everyone a safe and happy Halloween experience. Take a minute to read these 5 tips to make sure you and your family stay safe while trick-or-treating.

  • Trick-or-treat with trusted neighbors. Use the Nextdoor Treat Map to plan your route ahead of time and find the safest, most efficient route to the candy. You can access the Treat Map here:
  • Dress to impress.....safely. Make sure costumes and candy bags or pails are reflective. Costumes shouldn't drag too far on the ground to avoid tripping, and masks, hats, and shoes should be well-fitting.
  • Watch for kids. If you plan to be driving during trick-or-treat hours, watch for children walking on roadways, medians, and curbs. Be sure to enter and exit driveways carefully.
  • Stay on the path. Don't stray  from the well-marked routes to get to the candy. Always use the sidewalk, and do not cut across yards or use alleys. Wherever possible, cross the road at a crosswalk.
  • When in doubt, throw the candy out. Avoid candy that has loose wrappings, is completely unwrapped, has puncture holes, or is homemade and not factory-wrapped. 

If you have any additional trick-or-treating tips you'd like to share with your neighbors, please reply in the comments below. Boo safe out there!

See It! Hear It! Report It!
Parsons Police Department

Scam Phone Call Alert

Scam calls claiming to be Parsons Police have been received in the area. The caller with a slight foreign accent identifies themselves as a Parsons Police Officer. The caller ID shows a ghosted Parsons Police Phone number. The caller says there is a warrant for your arrest and demands payment.

DO NOT provide this caller with any information and hang up. The Parsons Police Department does not call individuals about any arrest warrants and does not demand payment over the phone for bail.

Please report these calls to the Parsons Police.

Public Safety Fair - Sat, Oct 15th

The Public Safety Fair includes almost 20 agencies.

Saturday, October 15th from 10 am to 4 pm the old Sutherland's bluiding at 2110 Main Street transforms into the Parsons Public Safety Fair.

Med-Flight will land a helicopter on-site as their display! The Parsons Police and Fire Departments will have information tables, free giveaways and equipment displays.

Look for the fire trucks and police vehicles parked in front of Sutherlands and you'll know you have arrived at the 2022 Parsons Public Safety Fair!

Labette Mental Health, Labette Community College Criminal Justice/Fire Science programs, Proud Animal Lovers Shelter, the Rotary Club, Embrace Hope Addiction Counseling, Labette Fire District #9, KHP, Safe House, Mom's Demand action, Carrying Cupboard Hygiene Pantry, and K-9 T-Shirts will be on-site at the Fair.

The first 500 attendees will receive a free Child ID Kit.



Parsons Public Safety Fair is Coming to Town

Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 15th to attend the Parsons Public Safety Fair from 10 am to 4 pm. Police, fire, EMS and other helping agencies will be at the Sutherland Bldg, 2110 Main Street to share information and host displays. There will be displays of police, fire and EMS equipment as well.

The first 500 attendees will receive a free child identification kit.


If you are a 1st Responder Organization, non-profit, police, fire, EMS or emergency management group or agency or if your civic or fraternal group supports a public safety program then you are invited to present at the Parsons Public Safety Fair. Sign up today to reserve your free information table by contacting Charlotte Lamb at the Parsons Police Department 620-421-7060 or by email at

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.


Chanute Police issued an Amber Alert for 6-year-old Nina R. Senkbeil. According to the alert, she was last seen today, Aug. 11, 2021, at Santa Fe Park in Chanute, Kansas. Her father is suspected of taking her. Authorities believe she could be in imminent danger.

She was last seen wearing a shite Tweetie bird shirt with a pink design, Nike shorts and white in color, Nike shoes that are pink and black.

The Chanute Police Department provided the information to the KBI around 1:30 p.m. this afternoon - which issued the Amber Alert.

"At around 10:30 a.m. Nina Senkbeil was taken by her father from Santa Fe Park, in Chanute, KS. She was with her father at a supervised visitation when they disappeared in an unknown direction.

At 12:15 pm, Jacob Senkbeil and Nina Senkbeil were seen at 17515 Oak Wood Lane in Fall River, KS where the father made comments to a witness that makes Law Enforcement now believe the child is in imminent danger. The suspect left with the child in an unknown direction in a black 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee KS license plate 852FGX.

Call 911 immediately if you have seen a missing child, or suspect. If you have other information on a missing child call 911 or the Kansas Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-KS-CRIME."


The Amber Alert lists 32-year-old Jacob Senkbeil as a suspect.

  • Description: last seen wearing Green shirt, Pants: blue jeans, Hat: blue and orange ball cap


The Amber Alert lists a 2004 Black Jeep Cherokee with the license plate 852FGX.


AMBER ALERT: 6-year-old out of Chanute, KS - KOAM (

How Much Do You Value Your Integrity?

Here's a great article by Dave Anderson - Becoming a Leader of Character

We can't just talk about Integrity. We must DO Integrity.

Lots of leaders talk about Integrity. They claim Integrity is the top attribute they want from a new hire. Integrity is probably the most common core value that organizations proclaim. The saying is easy. The doing is hard. Many well intentioned leaders talk a good game when it comes to Integrity, but they set a bad example when it comes to putting their convictions into action.

I'm not saying these leaders are running around intentionally deceiving people. But many, including me, have set a bad example in the simplest tests of our Integrity. Some of the simplest tests are set up by the commitments we make. What commitments are the ones many leaders fail to fulfill? How about:

  • "I'll check into that for you."

  • "I'll follow up with you on Monday."

  • "I am open to feedback."

When we make these statements, we are making a commitment - a promise. Too often, I have made these same statements with good intentions and then let those promises slide. Other things distract me, or I procrastinate. I don't look back at my notes, and later realize I failed to fulfill another promise by the agreed upon deadline. I am sure I am not the only one. But the more we do it, the more it becomes a habit - a bad habit of character.

We may make ourselves feel better and rationalize away the importance of those commitments. We have so many things to do. An unscheduled meeting or something else makes the commitment fall to the bottom of our priority list. These things happen to all of us. But we have to ask ourselves these questions:

  • Is our word important to us?

  • If people don't believe our word is important to us, why should their word be important to them?

As we stated in last week's blog, the root word for Integrity is integer. Integer means whole or pure. The purity of a piece of gold establishes its value. That is the same for our word. When we make a commitment, if we are hit and miss on fulfilling those simple promises we make so quickly, why should anyone value our word?

A leader at work or at home, who wants to inspire Integrity in the people we lead, has to not only talk about Integrity, but also DO Integrity. The small tests come daily and prepare us for the big test to come. Our teams and our families are watching how we respond to those tests. Each time we fall short on those tests, we cheapen the value of our word. This also sets the example that Integrity is cheap for everyone.

The leaders in any organization, whether it is a Fortune 500 company, a law enforcement agency, a smaller work team, or a family, establish the value of Integrity through both their words and their actions. No matter who we are, or what title we hold, our Integrity will be valued based on how we keep our commitments - the big commitments and the small ones.

Dig Deep Questions:

  • What value do you place on your Integrity?

  • Would the people observing you set the same price on your Integrity?

High Water/Flood Safety: How To Stay Safe

Parsons (KS) is no stranger to high water and flooding. Recent rains dropped up to 10 inches of water in and around the Parsons area. This has resulted in high creek and river levels that have impacted the community. Additional standing water has left high water on the many roadways or has made some areas in town impassable.

High water and flooding can be dangerous because they happen quickly and can be unpredictable, says the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL). If a flash flood strikes, it's important to know what you can do to help keep you and your family safe. Here are some tips to help you prepare and stay safe during a flash flood:


Flash floods are sudden, fast-moving floods that typically occur within three to six hours of heavy rainfall, says the National Weather Service (NWS). A flash flood or high water in Parsons (KS) is usually the result of a severe downpour associated with thunderstorms. It's important to remember that since it can rain anywhere, everyone is at risk for flash flooding. However, you may be at a higher risk for flash floods if you live in a flood zone, near Labette Creek or in low lying areas in the City.


Because flash floods can happen with little warning, it may be helpful to prepare during dry times. Consider developing an evacuation plan and create an emergency "go bag" so that you're ready to evacuate quickly if a flash flood threatens your area. You should also be sure that you and your family understand the difference between a flash flood watch and warning. The NSSL explains that a flash flood watch means flooding is possible, while a flash flood warning is issued when flooding is about to occur or already happening.


If you're at home when a flash flood strikes, the NWS offers these tips to help you stay safe:

  • Follow evacuation orders: If local officials have provided evacuation instructions before or during a flash flood, it's important to take them seriously as the timing of these floods can be unpredictable.
  • Move to higher ground immediately: If your home floods, get to higher ground as soon as possible. However, you should avoid seeking shelter in a closed attic as you may risk becoming trapped by rising floodwater. Only get on the roof if necessary and signal for help once you're there.
  • Avoid contact with floodwater: Try to avoid contact with floodwater that enters your home. Avoid rooms, including the basement, where floodwater has touched or submerged electrical outlets or cords. This is because you may be at risk for electrical shock.


If you're in the car and a flash flood is imminent or occurring, try to stay calm and remember these tips from :

  • Don't drive around barricades: If you come across a barrier blocking a flooded road, do not drive around it. Instead, back up and find an alternate route.
  • Avoid driving on bridges over fast-moving water: Floodwater can wash out a bridge with little or no warning. If water is moving quickly under a bridge, avoid driving over the bridge.
  • Avoid driving through floodwater: Driving through floodwater is dangerous, as it only takes 12 inches of water to for a small sedan or SUV to float, says the NWS. You should also avoid driving through large puddles. They may look more shallow than they are, and can disguise hazards such as a washed-out road or sharp debris.
  • Stay in your vehicle if you're surrounded by fast-moving water: Unless water is rising inside your vehicle, do not exit the vehicle when you're surrounding by quickly-moving floodwater. If water is rising inside your vehicle, exit the car and get onto the roof.

If you're ever in doubt about you or your family's safety during a flood, remember to turn around, don't drown, says the NWS.

Flash floods can happen suddenly and without warning. By planning ahead and remembering these flood safety tips, you and your family can be better prepared if a flash flood affects your area.


Chief Robert Spinks, MA, MS

Parsons Police Department



Have a Safe 4th of July Holiday

Safe and Sane 4th of July

The Parsons Police Department hopes that you are having a fun and safe summer vacation.  The Fourth of July-also known as Independence Day or July 4th-has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson.

From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.


July 4th Safety Tips

According to the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission, there are nearly 9,000 emergency room-treated injuries associated with fireworks a year. Here are a few tips on how to have fun but also stay safe on the 4th of July.

  • Never give fireworks to children.
  • Always follow the instructions on fireworks packaging.
  • Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
  • Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
  • Light only one firework at a time.
  • Never relight a 'dud.'
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
  • Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
  • Stay at least 500 feet away from professional fireworks displays.
  • Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.


Driving Safety Tips

July 4th is the second-most-deadly holiday period of the year - just behind New Year's - due to impaired driving. Drunk driving is a serious crime.  If you're caught we'll place you under arrest.  No exceptions.  No excuses. Much of the tragedy that comes from impaired-driving related crashes could be prevented if everyone would take a few simple precautions before going out to party this Fourth of July holiday. Always follow these tips for a safer July 4th celebration:

  • Whenever you plan on using alcohol, designate your sober driver before going out and give that person your keys;
  • If you're impaired, call a taxi or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely;
  • Promptly report drunk drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement;
  • Wearing your safety belt or using protective gear on your motorcycle  is your best defense against an impaired driver;
  • And remember, Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk.  If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.


The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth

June 19th marks a historical day of remembrance that has often been overlooked of the decades. The following article from the Smithsonian provides great historical context.

Chief Bob Spinks


On "Freedom's Eve," or the eve of January 1, 1863, the first Watch Night services took place. On that night, enslaved and free African Americans gathered in churches and private homes all across the country awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation had taken effect. At the stroke of midnight, prayers were answered as all enslaved people in Confederate States were declared legally free. Union soldiers, many of whom were black, marched onto plantations and across cities in the south reading small copies of the Emancipation Proclamation spreading the news of freedom in Confederate States. Only through the Thirteenth Amendment did emancipation end slavery throughout the United States.

But not everyone in Confederate territory would immediately be free. Even though the Emancipation Proclamation was made effective in 1863, it could not be implemented in places still under Confederate control. As a result, in the westernmost Confederate state of Texas, enslaved people would not be free until much later. Freedom finally came on June 19, 1865, when some 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas. The army announced that the more than 250,000 enslaved black people in the state, were free by executive decree. This day came to be known as "Juneteenth," by the newly freed people in Texas. 

The post-emancipation period known as Reconstruction (1865-1877) marked an era of great hope, uncertainty, and struggle for the nation as a whole. Formerly enslaved people immediately sought to reunify families, establish schools, run for political office, push radical legislation, and even sue slaveholders for compensation. Given the 200+ years of enslavement, such changes were nothing short of amazing. Not even a generation out of slavery, African Americans were inspired and empowered to transform their lives and their country.

Juneteenth marks our country's second Independence Day. Although it has long celebrated in the African American community, this monumental event remains largely unknown to most Americans.

The historical legacy of Juneteenth shows the value of never giving up hope in uncertain times. The National Museum of African American History and Culture is a community space where this spirit of hope lives on. A place where historical events like Juneteenth are shared and new stories with equal urgency are told.

Source: Smithsonian - National Museum of African American of History and Culture 

Memorial Day Sacrifice


Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day 2021 will occur on Monday, May 31. 

Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings, and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.

My family is a Blue Star Family with one of our Son's, Vince serving as an Army Green Beret Master Sergeant, so the recent celebration of Armed Forces Day on May 15th and the upcoming 245th birthday of the US Army on June 14th holds special significance in our household.   Memorial Day is a hallowed holiday for the many who have sacrificed their all in the defense of our freedoms. I know many in our community have sacrificed for our nation. The Honor Roll in the lobby at City Hall lists the contributors to freedom from Parsons. Today there are many Parsonians who have currently serving family members deployed across the country and around the world this weekend. 



The incredible sacrifices that our military men and women make is indescribable, valiant, beyond heroic, and sometime forgotten by the privileged masses today.

These people, sons and daughters, husbands, and wives, lay their lives on the line for their country, for strangers and especially for the men and women around them.

I hate to compare movies to real world experience, but for many in our country those wide screen experiences are as close to living the military experience they will get.

Recent decades we could look to Restrepo (2010), Lone Survivor (2013), 12 Strong (2018), and many others to get just a glimpse of the sacrifices that have faced serving military members in recent years. Remember that there are about 1.3 million active-duty military personnel, or less than one-half of 1 percent of the country. We demand a lot from this small sliver of our population.

My Father was a Pearl Harbor Survivor on the USS Ralph Talbot a destroyer. Like many families, all my Uncles served in each of the services from Navy, Marine, Army and Army Air Force. There are a couple WWII movies I enjoy.

Watch "Midway." Consider the reality. These pilots, knowing the majority of them were not coming back from their missions, fought to get into those planes, take off and attack their enemy. Marvel at the fact that several of them jumped back into questionable aircraft after experiencing the terror of hundreds of guns firing at them while they tried to hit a moving target that was almost invisible because of the smoke, flak and explosions enveloping their planes. Ponder the sheer horror of watching dozens of their friends being blown out of the sky by anti-aircraft fire.

Band of Brothers. A fact only alluded to in the series is how many of those paratroopers, wounded, went AWOL from the hospital, not to flee the military and avoid the fighting but, incredibly, to return back to the front and join their company in battle! Their sacrifices and the sacrifices of our currently serving military members show amazing bravery. We enjoy the fruits of their sacrifice, living peacefully and safely. Memorial Day is a great day to remember, thank and support.



So those in policing across the United States, many who are also veterans, thank our military members this weekend. We appreciate their sacrifices. The ranks of policing include 1,000,000 federal, state, and local law enforcement officers, again less than one-half of 1 percent of the U.S. population try to partner with our community members to increase the safety and livability of our communities large and small.

In closing, we have to make significant break throughs not just on the faraway battlefields of the world for our military. But, on our local streets. Remember that active shooters are a challenge across the nation. Over 600 mass shootings in 2020, compared with 417 in 2019. That carnage has continued into 2021, with at least 232 mass shootings as of May 26, (including the recent mass shooting in San Jose, Calif). We will talk more about shootings in a future blog.


Remember that Memorial Day Weekend is more than the beginning of summer, it's a time to reflect upon service, lives lost and dreams yet to be achieved.


Robert Spinks - Chief of Police




Inspired from an editorial by Lt Jim Glennon (ret) at Calibre Press

Data from The New York Times, A Partial List of Mass Shootings in the United States in 2021, downloaded on May 27, 2021 from:

National Police Week - May 9-15, 2021

Nearly 60 years ago, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15 as Peace Officer's Memorial Day and the week in which it falls as National Police Week. Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.

This year, National Police Week will be commemorated with virtual events that can be viewed from anywhere in the world. From May 9-15, the National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum will deliver programs to keep current officers safe and healthy, as well as ceremonies to honor those fallen officers whose names have been recently added to the Memorial.

Since January 91 Police Officers have been shot across the United States, with 19 killed by gunfire and 23 shot in ambushes. Even more eye opening is that 60,632 police officers were assaulted in 2018 (the most recent year for statistics). This past year, 5 Parsons Officers were assaulted and injured in the course of making lawful arrests.

The average size of an American police agency is just 25 officers. That is where the meat and potatoes of American policing occurs day in and day out. Policing in small towns is no less dangerous than in large metropolitan areas (in fact statistics show that the risk to police officers in small rural communities is actually greater than in the downtowns of most metro-cities). The difference is that in cities like Parsons, Independence, Coffeyville and hundreds of others, local police officers are active and engaged members of the communities and neighborhoods they police.

The police are you. And the community is responsible for policing their city by engaging in crime prevention (lights, locking doors, reporting suspicious activity), providing necessary resources for professional policing and in owning the livability of their town.

No question, we have seen some illegal, unprofessional, and discouraging acts by a small fraction of the policing community over the past year. Those actions have to be condemned by professional law enforcement and our larger community. Fortunately, our ever-evolving Parsons Police Department continues to lead in meeting regional, state, and national expectations for our work. We are an award-winning police department that is committed to continuous improvement. We have made significant investments in the transparency of our organization.

There is of course much to do - our community is a busy town. Merely making arrests will not solve some of our deep seating community challenges of domestic violence, drug addiction and people in crisis. But we remain open to partnering with all facets of our community. We all live here, we all call Parsons's home, and we will continue in our efforts to WOW our fellow neighbors, friends and Parsonians.




Yes, your Parsons Police Department is an award-winning law enforcement agency. Recently, I was asked what awards we have received - great question.

Traffic Safety Award

AAA Awards Logo.JPG 

The American Automobile Association (AAA) has a nationwide traffic safety program that recognizes law enforcement agencies that have a combination of community outreach or education, engineering, and enforcement activities with the goal of reducing crashes in their communities.

For the past five years the Parsons Police Department has been an award-winning agency. In 2020, the Department received the AAA Platinum Award. AAA defines this as: Platinum Awards are given to communities that have documented new, perhaps innovative, traffic safety programs, projects, or initiatives for the previous year. These communities have also demonstrated outstanding success with high scores in all scoring categories.

The Parsons Police Department is one of 43 law enforcement agencies - comprising 32 police departments and 11 sheriff's offices - throughout the state that were honored with AAA Kansas Community Traffic Safety Awards for our 2020 work to keep roadways safe through a variety of initiatives and programs, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Only 26 of the 43 agencies achieved the Platinum status that Parsons did (20 were police departments). There are 371 law enforcement agencies in the State of Kansas.

The awards have been presented annually since 2011 by AAA Kansas to community law enforcement agencies for their efforts to foster and improve local traffic safety successfully and cost-effectively. The agencies are scored and recognized for their efforts in multiple categories, including education, emergency medical response, enforcement and traffic engineering collaborations and solutions.

Excellence in Policy & Training Management

Your Parsons Police Department was also awarded Gold Award Status by Lexipol LLC for Excellence in Policy & Training Management. The program uses metrics that look at the operating policies of the agency, quick policy modifications due to law or court decisions, participation in a daily training bulletin training program, the percentage of staff that have completed the DTB process over the past year and validation that policies have been reviewed and signed off by staff.

Parsons was only one out of 17,985 local law enforcement agencies nationwide. Of those roughly 4,500 were qualified to be a participant in the Lexipol evaluation. Nationwide less than 400 agencies received the Gold Award Status. This equates to Parsons PD being in the top 2.2% of agencies nationwide and in the Top 9% of agencies qualified to participate in the evaluation program nationwide.

What are the Recognition Levels?

Lexipol Award Performance Levels.png

This is how Parsons PD rated:

Lexipol Performance Metrics.png

As you can see, Parsons PD far exceeded the minimum requirements for the Gold status.

Parsons Police Annual Report is a Winner!

Another area that the agency received praise from was part of the 2019/20 CRI-TAC Grant that was administered by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) from the Department of Justice (DOJ). During the exit interview with the team from IACP in reviewing our community outreach efforts, and in developing a community survey (that will be administered later in 2021), the agency was complemented on our Annual Report. We were told that our Annual Report was one of the best in the nation in its thoroughness, transparency, and depth of information.

Annual Reports are not statutorily mandated, but they are the report to the community on work volume, crime rates, arrest and traffic data, crash information, use of force reporting and offer accountability and transparency to the stakeholders of a community - our citizens.

Of course, these awards and other achievements of your police department can occur only through the hard work of the officers and staff of the Parsons Police Department.


Partnerships in Parsons: Yes, It Works!

Not quite 3-years ago when I arrived in Parsons, our town was a different place. But, change and evolution is not something that you can stop, even if we'd like those 'good old days' that exist only in our memories.

Policing in Parsons and throughout our region has gotten more challenging and more dangerous over my tenure as Chief of Police. That has meant that developing partnerships and policing smarter has become critical.

For our part, you see some of the best partnerships in policing happening locally. The Labette County Sheriff's Office, Parsons PD, and County Attorney's Office as well as the Juvenile Department and our federal partners (US Marshal's Office, Drug Enforcement Administration) along with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation share information, partner in programming, and investigations and are tied together through our Kansas - Combined Anti-Drug Taskforce (K-CAT).

Sounds like simple common sense doesn't it?

That cooperation is not always alive in all areas of the country. The idea that a Sheriff's Deputy and a city police officer would share 'common ground' as we do in Parsons is the exception and not the rule across the country. Sure personalities, politics - those things impact the criminal justice system just like they do in life in general. Fortunately, that has not been the case in recent years here in Parsons and in Labette County. Labette County Sheriff Darren Eichinger and County Attorney Stephen Jones have been instrumental in working with, listening to, and developing new partnerships that reach throughout SE Kansas to enhance the criminal justice system.

I have had a unique policing career covering four-decades, I've worked in all three of the west coast states as well as in metropolitan and rural venues that have also includes airport, seaport, and railroad operations. I jumped into University policing as a Chief for 6 more years in Louisiana. Needless to say, I've been exposed to all levels of the criminal justice system. Here in Labette County, today - we have some of the best inter-agency relationships, information sharing, and investigative successes ever seen in Labette County. Regardless of big cities or rural venues - things are working, even with strained budgets, in our County. Sheriff Eichinger and County Attorney Jones are not one's to self-promote, but they are the lynch pins in our areas many successes.

A recent drug interdiction effort that resulted in multiple arrests included a team of Parsons PD, Labette Sheriffs, KBI Agents and Chanute PD K-9 Teams.  We are collaborating on training and technology with our other partner police agencies of Independence (Chief Jerry Harrison), Coffeyville (Chief Kwin Bromley) and Pittsburg (Chief Brent Narges) and we want to grow those relationships even more. Without this cross jurisdictional support and teamwork, well things are just more dangerous.

Locally our Department has increased transparency with a new web site that provides a massive amount of information about policing, crime data, prevention tips, podcasts and so much more. You can sign up to receive alerts by text or email. Please visit us at . The COVID-19 Pandemic had us rely more upon social media platforms such as Twitter and . The results have been overwhelmingly successful.

Citizens can't sit on the sideline. Thirty-five years ago, a national campaign was birthed that introduced McGruff the Crime Dog as an American icon that is "taking a bite out of crime."

In the early 1970s, most people thought it was strictly up to law enforcement to prevent crime. However, a group of concerned private citizens and government leaders believed that working individually and collectively, in tandem with the police, could aid in crime prevention.

Since his debut, McGruff has been instrumental in showing adults and youth alike how their involvement can reduce crime. Today more than three out of four Americans believe they can personally do something to prevent crimes from occurring. While crime in general has been reduced from the highs seen in the 1990s, it remains a reality in communities across the nation every day, including Parsons. To this end, it is clear that even with a more diverse, older, technology savvy nation, McGruff the Crime Dog still has a job to do.

In the past quarter-century, McGruff has become more than just a familiar face. He is a true piece of Americana.  We can all "Take A Bite Out of Crime." For more information about the National Crime Prevention Coalition, visit Locally, we have seen a huge increase in citizen participation by adopting our motor of 'See It! Hear It! Report It! Check out the crime prevention and information resources available on-line at the Parsons Police Department's web site at;

Robbery Prevention Tips

Armed Robbery Graphic

Robbery Prevention

Dating back to 1829 (Robert Peele), the police are the public and the public are the police. Law enforcement officers today are merely individuals who focus on policing on a full-time basis, but the community is still responsible in making the city safe. Policing in America has always been a shared responsibility. Unfortunately, that shared responsibility is sometimes forgotten with people thinking they no longer must be engaged, participate, or take responsibility for community safety.

In recent days there has been an armed robbery of a local short-term loan store and a grocery store pharmacy. Those investigations are on-going. Crime continues around us as well in Coffeyville, Independence, Pittsburg . . . Parsons doesn't have a corner on the crime market in our region. But, let's discuss some useful prevention methods - if you have a business then these are worthwhile points for you to review and implement.

Robbery is a crime against your person rather than against your property. If someone breaks into your home or business and takes property from the premises, the crime is called a burglary. However, if you are confronted by an individual on the street or in your home, car or business and force is used or threatened against you, you have become the victim of a robbery.

It is important to remember two things:

  •    Robbers want one thing - your money or property - and they want it quickly. 
  •    Robbery is a risky business and robbers are usually nervous. You do not want to delay a robbery in any way and increase the potential for violence. Give the robber what he or she wants and do it quickly. Do not risk your life, or another person's life, for property.

Be Alert

  •    Robberies occur at predictable times. Opening and closing periods are particularly vulnerable times due to low staffing and large amounts of cash on hand. Lunch hours are primary times for the same reasons. Robberies increase during the holiday season due to the increased cash volume and the presence of large crowds that distract and preoccupy store and company personnel.
  •    Report suspicious activity. If you observe an individual, or occupied vehicle, lingering around your business for a time, or in a manner that makes you suspicious or uncomfortable, write down the license number, color of the car and description of the individual(s) and call the police non-emergency number (620-421-7060). Be sure to inform other employees of your suspicion.


  •    Good visibility allows employees to be aware of suspicious activities outside the store. It also increases the chance passersby will observe robberies taking place inside the store.
  •    Keep doors and windows clear. Post any necessary signs to the side, top or bottom of the display windows to allow maximum visibility into and out of the store. This will help customers see your merchandise too.
  •    Locate the cash register in a central place. Keep it in clear view of the door, with the customer's back to the entrance. The register should be visible from the outside.
  •    Keep counter displays low. This allows employees to see over the top. You can also rearrange displays to allow surveillance up and down both sides of each aisle.
  •    Place wide-angle mirrors in strategic locations. This will assist with visibility in blind areas of the store.
  •   Always make sure interior lighting provide good visibility in the store. Outdoor lighting should be even and directed toward the sides of the building, not outward where glare can create hiding places for robbers.


Cash Control

  •    Do not keep unnecessary amounts of money in the till. Keep only the amount you will need to conduct normal business and transfer the rest to the bank or a safe. Provide an anchored drop-vault for employees and do not provide them with the key to the safe. Post the fact that you use a drop-vault and, therefore, cannot make change for large denominations.
  •    Drop all checks and food stamps. Allow customers to see you do this and explain why. Ask customers for exact change or the smallest bills possible.
  •    During the evening, take even greater precautions. Check to see that outside lights are on and working. In money order sales, collect money and make your drop before printing the money order. Open unused register drawers and tip them for display.
  •    Make trips to the bank often, varying travel times and routes to reduce predictability. Carry money in a disguised container and have someone accompany you when possible. Do not transport money at the same time every day and do not use the same route every time. If you are making a night deposit, do not approach the deposit unless it is clear of other people. For high risk areas, or when transferring considerable amounts of cash, consider employing an armored car service.
  •    List some serial numbers from larger bills before going to the bank. Be aware of any suspicious persons lingering near the store. Call 9-1-1 if necessary.
  •    Drive or walk directly to an open business, police precinct or fire station, if you feel you are being followed while transporting money.
  •    Prepare marked money. Record non-consecutive serial numbers and series dates of five and ten-dollar bills. Do not use these bills in normal transactions; rather place the money in a till to be included in the money given to the robber. Keep the record of the marked bills in a secure location other than the till or the safe.
  •    Post store policy that no more than some pre-determined amount (often $25 to $50) is kept in the register at one time and that the store will accept no larger than $20 denominations. When the clerk receives the $20 bill it should be dropped immediately. Never place large bills in the drawer under the tray. Robbers know this practice.

Building Security and Security Devices

  •    Control access to the building. Keep all doors locked except the main entrance. Ask employees to use the main entrance.
  •    Install a lock on the back-room door that can be unlocked from the inside. Supply this room with an extra key, a phone, and a panic button. This will enable an employee to summon help if locked in during a robbery.
  •    Create a sense of territoriality. People should feel they are on your turf when they enter the store and not free to do as they wish.
  •    Install a door signaling system like a buzzer/bell. This will alert staff of new arrivals.
  •    Use signs inside and outside the store to emphasize your security policy on limited cash on hand and employee inaccessibility to the safe.
  •    Silent "hold-up" alarms should be considered. Alarm signaling devices can be installed on the floor and tripped by foot, wired to a money clip in the till, hidden under the counter or inside an office or freezer, among other possibilities.
  •    Install a "buddy alarm" system. A simple bell or buzzer connected to the neighboring business can be an effective and inexpensive "panic" alarm. It should not be hooked to lights, for a flicker could warn the robber that an alarm has been sent. It should not be loud enough to be heard by the robber. The alarm should be activated only if there is no possibility of detection. A slight movement or sound could trigger a panicking robber into violence.


  •    Greet each customer. Establish eye contact and remember their general appearance. Good customer service discourages hesitant robbers as well as other thieves. This attention to detail conveys control and puts people on notice they have been observed and can be identified later.
  •    Place height markings along the vertical frame at the entrance. This allows employees the ability to tell how tall the robber is at a glance so employees can tell at a chance how tall the robber is.
  •    Consider installing a quality video camera and recorder kept high on the wall but visible. Don't use fake cameras. Robbers know the difference. Have several cameras connected to the system, some visible, some not. Only the managers should have access to the tape.

Policy Considerations

  •    Recognize your potential of being held up.
  •    Check references of prospective employees. Do a background check of previous employers.
  •    Keep a file on all employees, including their pictures. Past employees know store procedure and where money is kept. They sometimes share this information with others who use it to plan robberies at the store. Pictures of suspects are much more useful than verbal descriptions.
  •    Re-key locks and alter safe combinations or codes when employees are dismissed for cause.
  •    Establish clear and consistent policies regarding money in the till. Establish how much money will be kept in the till, what bill denominations employees will accept, how to respond to "suspicious" inquires and how to handle loiterers. All employees should be trained and given a written description of store policy. Stress that their commitment to security procedures will reduce their risk of criminal confrontation and physical harm.
  •    Staff should never admit customers to premises after closing hours, particularly when the employee is alone. 
  •    Always maintain adequate staff levels. Be especially careful during opening and closing periods, lunch hours and holiday seasons when there is more money on the site and more distractions.
  •    Store clerks should remain alert to what is going on outside their shop. Carefully observe phone booths, parked cars with people inside and loiterers in the vicinity. Many robbers like to watch and wait for the right opportunity. If a parked car containing several people has been noticed on many occasions, get the license number and a general description of the occupants. Notify the police. A discreet investigation can be made, and no one embarrassed in case the situation is an innocent one. Be sure to notify the individual(s) following your shift of suspicious circumstances.

Leader & Mentor

Dr King Picture

In Observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Monday, January 18)

Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1954 until his death in 1968. Since 1986, the birth date of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has been observed as a federal holiday by the federal government. It should be a day of community and humanitarian service, and interracial cooperation.

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'" - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Given the need to continue to evolve professional policing across the nation, Dr King's words and commitment to non-violent protest are even more important today. This weekend as we celebrate Dr. Martin Lurther King Day, I remember growing up listening and watching how Dr King championed nonviolent protest. I admired the character it took to face violent responses without lashing back. Today more than ever I appreciate his commitment to this principle of nonviolence.

I am also committed to the concept that policing is a Guardianship service first. This merely means that the Parsons Police Department focuses first on being a helping agency before jumping right to our enforcement responsibilities.

Commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with service. Let us give back to our community today or find an opportunity to serve in the near future. Search for volunteer opportunities on:


Holiday Cognition with B.F. Skinner

Holiday Cognition with B.F. Skinner

December 9, 2020

     It's the holiday season! Are my follow readers going to again become rats in the maze and respond this season to the psychological traps of the holiday with their spending? This year you can pick which psychological door you will open and follow - let's take a look at the thought processes that 20th Century psychologist B. F. Skinner brought to us.

     Will you follow the operant conditioning mode and follow the trigger of the holiday season and grab that nearest credit card? We've all learned that putting plastic cards into machines will result in goods, services and presents being deposited into our shopping carts with little concern for the unseen and mounting holiday debt. We've grown to love that conditioning.

     Other fellow shoppers will engage in reinforcement and run out to their banks looking for an increase in their line of credit hoping for a low interest rate (positive reinforcement), making the continued ability to buy, buy, buy a pleasant experience, even if only on a temporary basis.

     Not to be forgotten is our superstitious holiday shopper, could this be you?  Last year you were able to juggle credit card balances and credit limits and it worked then.  So it will of course work the same way this year . . . no reason to be like that busy squirrel in childhood cartoons who worked so hard all year saving up nuts for the winter rush. 

     Now this year we have the added community burden of COVID-19. Watching credit cards, balancing holiday gift giving against the need for having food, utilities, rent, car and cell payments is going to be even harder. If you can give, please reach out to helping agencies. If you are in need, also reach out to those same helping agencies, family, and the faith-based community.

     At the end of the holidays when January hits us hard and heavy, who will be left with the cycle of punishment if we haven't or couldn't balance our holiday needs? Skinner would have equated that to being stuck with huge credit card payments and little else left to provide the positive feeling that we bought instead of nurtured during the recent holiday cycle . . . but, heck Spring vacation is just right around the corner, along with a COVID-19 vaccine - right?


A recent comment in the social media universe commented about the two homicides in Parsons that occurred this year. The post complained that these homicides were a failure of your police department.


  •    1) The first murder occurred in February and was a domestic violence case involving two residents from Montgomery County. The male and female were passing through Parsons, the murder victim was suffocated. The suspect was arrested.
  •    2) The second case occurred in April and was a domestic related murder. The female suspect ran over the Victim (boyfriend) on US 59 south of US 400 in Parsons. The suspect was arrested.


Parsons violent crime rate which is lower today than in the previous years of 2017 and 2018. Felony Domestic Aggravated Assaults remain the driving force behind our community's violent crime rate.  Domestic violence is also the leading cause for homicides in Parsons for the past decade too. Last year, there were also 182 domestic violence (misdemeanor) cases. Reduce or eliminate domestic violence in Parsons and our crime rate plummets.


Nationwide only 61% of all murders are solved. Over the past decade 100% of the homicides investigated by Parsons PD have been solved.


There is one case that we partnered with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) the occurred in mid-2018 which has been assigned to them as the lead agency. That case is an active and viable investigation being handled by KBI.


  •     In 2010, there were two murders one in June and one in September. One was drug related and the other involved a family member (domestic related). Arrests were made in both.
  •     In 2011, a juvenile was murdered by a known individual who was the Victim's mother's boyfriend (domestic related). An arrest was made.
  •     In 2013, a multiple murder resulted in the arrest of an individual who had been a stalker. An arrest was made with Parsons PD partnering with KBI.
  •     In 2015, there were two murders that resulted in arrests. One incident was drug related and the other was domestic connected.
  •     In 2017, there was a domestic related homicide that resulted in an arrest.
  •     In 2018, this murder case is being handled by KBI and remains an open and viable investigation.
  •     In 2019, a Suspect committed suicide after a domestic related homicide.
  •     In 2020, as listed above both homicides were domestic related with arrests made in both cases.


Domestic violence whether a misdemeanor battery, a felony aggravated assault or a domestic related homicide are tuff crimes to think that law enforcement on our own can prevent. These are crimes that require community investment.


The Center for Problem Oriented Policing (POP) has a useful booklet on Domestic Violence that you can download at:


The police and fire departments are working to create a Public Safety Advisory Board that Fire Chief Ward and I are working to create. This advisory board will provide input to our Departments and partner with us to identify community challenges to work on. You will hear more about this in the coming weeks.


To learn more about how a community can reduce domestic violence visit the following web sites:


Robert Spinks, MA, MS

Chief - Parsons Police Department

See It!  Hear It!  Report It!

Is Crime Major or Minor?

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) :

1 Murder

8 Rapes

9 Robberies

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.

Halloween Graphic 1.jpg

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!


New Chief's Corner Blog

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