Liberal Police Chief William Cutshall Issues Report on Summer Crime 2021

Joe Denoyer - July 1, 2021 12:15 pm

On behalf of the men and women of the Liberal Police Department, I would like to present our Summer Report for 2021.

One question is asked on a regular basis, “Is crime down in Liberal?” My answer is yes and no. While there has been a 50% decrease in burglaries and a 12% decrease in thefts from 2020, person crimes such as aggravated battery has increased 50%. The reduction of property crimes can be attributed to several things. First, there are more officers working on the street which enables them to deter the person from breaking into a car, house, or business. Another reason for the decrease may be that officers are now required to check the security of businesses on foot. Whatever the reason, many property crimes can be deterred through proper police patrols, whereas person crimes generally cannot. An officer can drive by a house numerous times a day without being able to stop a domestic violence incident occurring inside.

Part of crime reduction is stopping a situation before it becomes a crime. Many times, business merchants report an individual camping out in their parking lot at night or a suspicious person in the area. These reports do not constitute a committed crime but may lead to one being committed later if no police intervention is made.

Our goal at LPD is to reduce crime by improving accountability and transparency while maintaining a customer service approach to our community members. With excellent customer service, the entire community benefits.

Recently, LPD assigned a department member to make daily courtesy calls to victims of crimes and those involved in traffic crashes. Many times, in the past, victims of crimes were never updated on their cases or victims of traffic crashes had no idea how to obtain a copy of their police report. An officer is now assigned daily to call each crime victim and each driver of an accident as a courtesy. For traffic crashes involving injured children, an assigned member of the department and Chief of Police contact the parent in person for an update on the child.

LPD members are assigned to participate in our monthly neighborhoods walks, monthly community group meetings, Facebook posts, and daily business contacts. Recently, LPD further improved our customer service response by joining the Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors to provide customer service to new businesses. We also began a monthly police blotter, updated crime statistic posts, delivery of Meals on Wheels and appearances on local radio programs and speaking with civic organizations. The idea is for members of the department to be more approachable and recognizable to the community and improve customer service, while maintaining police accountability.

As you can see, the goals at LPD are quite simple: we want to continue to form a solid foundation to improve the services we provide to our community. We know that uniting as a team, the community and the police department can effectively lower criminal activity and make Liberal, Kansas a wonderful place to live and raise our families without fear of crime.

 

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