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.
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.
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?
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: www.parsonspd.com/traffic-safety-corner