As 2023 wrapped up the Parsons Police Department set new records. Most notable was the increase in arrests made. In 2023, 1,233 arrests were made. This was a ten year high, with 806 arrests made in 2022. This was a 35% increase in arrests.
The Parsons Lock-up processed nearly 600 bookings which totaled over 1,800 person days of incarceration. The lock-up usually holds prisoners long enough to prepare them for transfer to the Labette County Jail.
Drivers received good news with safer streets in Parsons. The number of crashes dropped to a ten-year low of 127 wrecks. This was an 8% reduction over the 2022 total of 138 crashes.
Officers and dispatchers alike were busy in 2023. Dispatchers answered 33,934 incoming phone calls and handled 2,658 emergency 9-1-1 calls (roughly a 26% increase). Officers were dispatched to 29,495 incidents ranging from the benign to the deadly. This was nearly an 8% increase just since 2022.
Animals continue to be a constant challenge. In 2023, 1,55 animal calls were handled and resulted in 537 animal impounds, the investigation of 26 animal bites and 94 Ferrel animals being trapped.
The power of the internet continues to amaze us. Our police website averages nearly 12,000 unique visitors every month. In less than -years our Facebook page acquired over 5,000 followers, and our NextDoor.com app (the electronic version of Neighborhood Watch), has participation by 20% of all Parsons' households.
Outreach continues to be important to provide transparency to the Parsons community. Consequently, the agency issued 79 press releases, conducted 28 radio and TV interviews, posted 44 podcasts on the PD website, and conducted 36 community presentations.
Winter Driving and Crime Prevention Tips
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:
- Plan Ahead: Check weather forecasts and road conditions before heading out. Allow extra time for your commute and plan your route accordingly.
- Vehicle Maintenance: Ensure your vehicle is winter-ready. Check your brakes, tires, battery, and fluids. Consider installing snow tires for added traction.
- 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.
- Emergency Kit: Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle, including a blanket, non-perishable snacks, water, a flashlight, and a first aid kit.
- 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:
- Home Security: Ensure your home is secure. Lock all doors and windows and consider installing motion-activated lights around the property.
- 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.
- 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.
- Vehicle Safety: Avoid leaving valuables in your vehicle, especially in plain sight. Lock your car doors, and park in well-lit areas.
- Community Watch: Stay connected with your neighbors and consider signing up with NextDoor.com, the 21st Century electronic neighborhood watch. The Parsons Police Department has nearly 800 homes signed up on this electronic platform. Look out for one another and report any suspicious activity to the police at 620-421-7060.
By following these tips, we can all contribute to creating a safer and more secure community during the winter season. Remember, your safety is our top priority. If you have any concerns or need assistance, do not hesitate to contact your local law enforcement.
Wishing you a safe and enjoyable winter season.
Robert Spinks, MA, MS
Chief of Police - Parsons, KS