2023 is in Full Swing!
Our office has achieved several successes this past year that I am very proud of. Some of these successes include:
- Aside from responding to over 25,625 calls for service in 2021 and 2022 will end up exceeding that number, with limited staffing due to a very competitive job market, the community has embraced the 'See It! Hear It! Report It!' campaign.
- 681 arrests were made which included 177 felons arrested, (Uniform Crime Report data from KBI & the FBI).
- Actual crime hit a 13 year low in Parsons for 2021. Per capita crime in 2021 was half of what it was in 2009, (Uniform Crime Report data from KBI & the FBI).
- Parsons was 26th in actual reported crime for 2021, (Uniform Crime Report data from KBI & the FBI).
- The 1st Annual Public Safety Fair was attended by 484 people.
- Active shooter training was presented to staff and faculty at our local schools, breeching kits were purchased for patrol vehicles to use, if necessary, at an active shooter or other serious event.
- A new emergency generator for the police department was ordered.
- Old police transmitters are being replaced at the police building (this has been slowed by supply chain issues).
- A needs assessment study was completed for a new public safety center.
- A new PD Facebook page was kicked off with great success.
- New officers and dispatchers have been hired putting police dispatch at full strength. New police officers are at the academy or are waiting to attend the academy.
- The Parsons Registered Offender Program (PROP) was kicked out lead by Lt Kyle Wiford resulting is several felony arrests and violators being returned to prison.
- The police training annex at 21st and Corning was acquired and remodeled by the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center (KLETC) as a regional training hub that will open in 2023.
- Additional security lighting and CCTV enhancements were made at the police facility. A Safe Exchange Zone for established at the PD for transfer of kids in custody situations or for the exchange of Internet purchases.
- A Use of Force Simulator grant of $135,000 was secured from the federal government with the help of US Senator Moran. That purchase will occur in 2023 with installation at the Police Training Annex next to KLETC.
- Our Shop With a Cop Program continues to receive great community support. We'll have more information about this year's success after we take kids shopping on Sunday, December 18th.
For 2023, we continue to be faced with the challenge of domestic violence (136 cases reported in 2021), illegal drugs, people in crisis and theft. As a community these are large issues that are not going to be solved merely by making arrests. The courts have a duty to remove habitual offenders from the street. Partnerships will have to grow between Safehouse Crisis Center and the police, as well as links with our local prosecutors. Crime prevention programming and outreach will require more resources to involve the community. So we will be working these areas this coming year.
As many law enforcement agencies do, we are evaluating posting the names of arrestees on our website, and social media platforms on a weekly basis to better inform the community. We are also evaluating publicizing low bail amounts and arrestees released on their own recognizance by the courts. The conditions of release that these individuals have may also be shared with the community to help in holding individuals accountable to their release conditions and re-arrest for violations of release.
We're looking at all options that can help to prevent, deter, deflect and displace crime from Parsons.
As we approach the new year, my commitment to the citizens of this community remains strong, and I will continue to work with you to improve the quality of life for our city's current and future residents, workers, and visitors. I hope that 2023 will be a year when members of our community frequently extend a helping hand to their neighbors, coworkers, family, friends, and strangers in need.
It's an absolute pleasure to say "thank you" to our community, as we wish you a full year of happiness and success.
ROBERT SPINKS, MA, MS
Chief of Police