It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the Great Bend Police Department, City Administrator Howard Partington said during Monday nights City Council meeting.
Last week, Detective Adam Hales and K-9 Officer Kia went to Rice County to help the Rice County Sheriff’s Office there track a man who was wanted for multiple dangerous crimes. The man had fled from deputies, and was thought to be somewhere in a wooded area after he flipped his truck.
Kia and Hales were able to track the man down and apprehend him. This was Kia’s first successful track and apprehension, and the department is in the process of planning an awards ceremony for him, which we will hopefully conduct at a local elementary school while we talk about drug abuse prevention.
On Jan. 27, officers served a search warrant on a suspected drug dealer. They made several arrests and confiscated over two pounds of cannabis, with an approximate street value of $9,000. “Although they don’t always announce these busts for various reasons, the department does continue to aggressively work on stopping the sale of drugs in Great Bend,” Partington said.
Then, early Monday morning, officers cornered a man who was breaking into a lady’s house. They were able to arrest the suspect. “Kudos to the lady for being vigilant and calling when she heard noise,” Partington said. “The department encourages all citizens to do the same, and help us keep catching bad guys.”
These were among the highlights of Partington’s departmental update. Other topics included:
• Installed barricades at the east and west end of the Reserves at Trail Ridge apartments off of Grant Street.
• Replaced fire hydrants at 31st and Morton, Barton Drive and Dog Wood, and 17th and Polk.
• City and Industrial water use report to Kansas Department of Agriculture.
• Sanitarian: 47 year to date complaints, 17 new complaints (three by citizens and 14 by staff), 10 complaints completed by citizens, three abatement notices sent and seven vehicles brought into compliance.
• Chief attended a one day seminar on the Principles of Modern Fire Attack.
• All department meeting was held to review accomplishments for 2015 and to set goals for 2016.
• Inspector Lee Schneider continues to work with the Holiday Inn Express as it gets closer to completion.
• The Police Department continues our various initiatives at the schools, including school walk-throughs by the Patrol Division, the Police at Lunch program, and Officer Jefferson Davis’s presence at the schools.
• Chief Cliff Couch went to Dodge City on Feb 9, to help the police department there select a new deputy police chief.
• Community Coordinator Christina Hayes is working with Patrick Burnett to try to land a statewide bowling conference and tournament for Great Bend next year. Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Emily Goad will be getting her feet wet in Lawrence the next few weekends by encouraging bowlers to vote for Great Bend for next year’s destination which could potentially bring 1,000 people to town for three weekends.
• The Class of 1996 will hold a 20th class reunion this year in Great Bend and members are working with Hayes and Public Lands Director Scott Keeler to layout their plans to emphasis “fun for everyone in Great Bend” while they are here with an event in the square on Sept. 3, Hayes said. The city and CVB are using this experience to help find other ways to entice class reunions to attend events such as June Jaunt and Party in the Park.
• Great Bend Recreation Commission Executive Director Diann Henderson announced that the 2016 summer is booked except two weekends at the Great Bend Sports Complex. “What a great success,” Partington said.
• The on call engineering services selection committee has interviewed three firms that would potentially provide engineering services. The committee hopes to have some suggestions for our next council meeting.
• Partington attended the Kansas Association of City Managers Winter Conference in Wichita where participants exchanged ideas about the property tax lid that was established at the 2015 Kansas Legislative Session. “The lid is very anti-growth and we will have to consider its effect prior to moving forward on any property tax abatements or similar economic development tools in the future.” he said.