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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

OP's game plan for fighting crime

Chief John Douglass' blog has a 147-page analysis, available in PDF, of crime trends in Overland Park and what police plan to do about it. It'll be the topic of discussion of a city council meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Sanders justice center at 124th and Foster.

The report's a little lengthy, and some of it's obvious -- older, less-affluent neighborhoods tend to be targets for crime, etc. But there are interesting nuggets in there, too.

- If you're familiar with the city, you probably already know that what violent crime happens in OP tends to happen in the north third of the city. There are some useful maps spelling this out in detail.

- Motels can be a big problem -- again, not a shocker if you've seen any of the reports about cops busting prostitutes or meth labs at the local motel. The police have tried to focus on these places, because they tend to be a magnet for crime. Also, there are some lovely photos.

- Another priority is organized retail crime, something that OP tends to attract because it has so many high-end box stores, shopping centers, etc. Every month or two, it seems, you'll see a release from the U.S. attorney announcing charges in some fraud ring that targeted a store in Overland Park.

- The police are really concerned about neighborhood decline. Not that anybody thinks this is a huge problem in Overland Park, but the department thinks they might be able to stop crime by investing in weed-and-seed programs and other community-building efforts.

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