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Archive: December 2023

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.