The original item was published from July 8, 2022 to June 28, 2022 10:18 AM
June 27, 2022
In February I wrote you specifically addressing crime and safety in our City. Now that we are nearly halfway through 2022, I wanted to provide several updates and some good news on this topic. We still have work to do, and some of that work will never end, but we have made progress.
Crime Statistics Update
As I noted in the February letter, we had a difficult 2021. I am pleased to let you know that the first 5 months of 2022 have seen improvements in residential burglaries. Through May of 2021 there were 13 residential burglaries and through May of 2022 that number dropped to 8. As many of you have heard me say, “one crime is too many,” but this is progress.
We have made less progress on auto theft, but I do have some good news here. Through May, we had 9 autos stolen in Mission Hills. All 9 were unlocked with the keys in them. Three of the vehicles were running. This number is up from 6 at the same time in 2021. Modern cars are stunningly hard to steal without the keys, but when unlocked with the keys inside, the thief doesn’t even need to know where those keys are located. All they need to do is step on the brake, push the starter button and if the car starts, find the keys later. Please, please, please lock your cars and take the keys inside with you.
Our thefts from autos are flat year-over-year. Of the 9 thefts from auto in 2022, 7 of the vehicles were unlocked. Again, please lock your cars and keep valuables out of sight.
The good news on this front is that our police department just completed a multi-jurisdictional arrest of a serial auto thief responsible for at least 14 crimes in the area during the past year. Thank you Chief Roberson and team.
Camera & License Plate Reader (LPR) Update
Four of our camera and/or LPR locations are up and running. We have 6 locations where installation is complete or substantially complete and are waiting on connectivity or a part before going active. Our goal is to have them active as soon as possible. The rest of our locations are scheduled for the remainder of the summer.
In the fall, the Council will evaluate the next wave of installations (priorities 3 and 4).
RCAs and Zero Tolerance
Chief and his team have continued RCAs (Reducing Criminal Activity) tactics, as well as maintained our zero-tolerance policy during overnight hours. As a reminder, RCAs are intensive, targeted tactics the department uses to tackle spikes in crime. Zero tolerance means that if you speed, roll a stop sign, etc. at any time overnight, we will stop you.
As I noted in February, commercial solicitors must now register with the City in advance of soliciting. Any commercial solicitor who comes to your home should be able to produce a copy of said registration.
Additionally, the City now maintains a “No Commercial Solicitation” opt-out list. You may add your address to this list. If you are on this list and the police receive a report of commercial solicitation at your home, they can more aggressively address the situation.
To add your home to the “No Solicitation” list, please feel free to call City Hall at 913-362-9620, or go to the City’s Solicitation page here:
The Council had several very robust discussions with Chief Roberson and the Crime & Safety Committee Chair about adding patrol. Given the progress in our numbers and other actions, we agreed to re-address this topic later in the year.
As previously noted, we have priority 3 and 4 locations identified for additional cameras and LPRs. Once all priority 1 and 2 locations are up and running, and we fully understand the data and our ability to use these tools, the Council will discuss adding more.
Finally, we have had some preliminary discussions about a few infrastructure changes I referenced in February that could possibly help reduce crime and improve safety.
We Still Need Your Help!
In conclusion, we have made progress, but still have work to do. Please know you have my and the Council’s pledge to keep this front and center.
Remember, you can help and play a key role!
Lock Your Car & Keep Valuable Out of Sight
Every one of the vehicles stolen this year have been unlocked with the keys in them. Please lock your vehicle – every time. Please take purses, computers and other valuable out of plain sight in your vehicle.
Call, Call, Call
Make sure you have the police non-emergency number in your smartphone - 913-642-5151 – preferably in your speed dial.
We are fortunate that our officers can respond to most non-emergency situations, and particularly those that are suspicious but don’t rise to the level of a 911 call.
You should NEVER hesitate to call 913-642-5151 if you see something suspicious or unusual. Don’t worry, a 911 call will trump a non-emergency call, but you would be amazed at how many suspicious situations turn out to be potential crimes.
Make a habit at 9pm every night of the following:
Double check any cars you park outside and remove valuables.
Lock any outside cars.
Close your garage door (through May of this year, the police have already found 48 open doors, most in the overnight shift!).
Make sure your exterior lights are on.
Make sure your doors are locked.
Turn on your alarm (if you have one).
Thank you again. As always, please don’t hesitate to call City Hall with any questions or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
David W. Dickey