Eudora Police Department

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Eudora Chief of Police, Bill Edwards

Eudora Chief of Police, Bill Edwards

Eudora News & Information ~ www.eudorareporter.com

You might not find this occasion printed on your 2015 calendar, but January 9 is a special day.  It’s National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, and according to Eudora Chief of Police Bill Edwards, the citizens of Eudora have a lot to appreciate.  He beams when he talks about the nine officers who serve with him on the Eudora Police Department.  He calls their dedication to the department and to the people of the community “amazing.”

Edwards came to Eudora a little over two years ago from Park City, KS, but he has been in law enforcement all of his adult life.  His small crew of officers works very hard to protect Eudora around the clock each day.  Since Chief Edwards mainly works from the office and Officer Caleb Lewis spends his days in the school district as the School Resource Officer, that leaves eight officers to patrol the community.  They work 12-hour shifts, with two officers on each shift.

“What really makes me proud of these officers,” said Edwards, “is that nobody has a job.  Each officer handles many things.  They follow up their own calls, and often have to go to court after their shift ends with no sleep.  Larger departments have detectives, but we don’t in Eudora.  These guys do it all.  It’s amazing to me to see the level of dedication among these officers.”

Edwards is proud of all his officers, but made note of two who had received an award for saving a life.  Officer Caleb Lewis and Sargent Tom Willis got a call from school officials about a boy they were concerned about and who hadn’t come to school.  The officers searched for him, eventually finding him unconscious in a wooded area, not breathing and without a pulse.  The pair preformed CPR and called for paramedics.  The boy made a full recovery.

Another of his officers delivered a baby on K-10.  “You can tell these officers ‘good job,’ but they just say it’s part of their job,” Edwards said.  “They don’t expect any thanks.”

The department receives about 11,000 calls a year, and those calls can be anything from someone reporting a crime, a domestic dispute, a medical situation, or just people calling because they’re concerned about a dog left out in the cold or a cat in a tree.  Someone responds to every call, and often officers spend extra time with people who are distraught, giving a listening ear and some reassurance.

Edwards believes that the community has a great deal of respect for the officers.  People often come in or call asking for a specific officer, one they’ve had a previous positive experience with.  Chief Edwards encourages everyone on the police force to use their authority correctly.  He tells his officers, “You earn respect by the way you treat people, not by the uniform you wear.”

According to Edwards, “A good day for us is when people don’t notice us.  That means we’re keeping the community safe.”  He added, “My job is pretty easy.  It’s to help support my officers in the field.  They’re the ones out there helping the public every day.”

Those involved with promoting National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day give these suggestions to let our dedicated police officers know on January 9 how grateful we are for their service:

  • Thank an officer
  • Wear blue to support law enforcement
  • Share positive stories about your local law enforcement on social media
  • Send a card of support to your local police department or state agency.
  • Have your children write letters to officers of the law

The good thing is that you don’t have to express your gratitude for our top-notch Eudora Police Department on this very day.  We can do it any (or every) day.  Thank you, Chief Edwards and the Eudora officers, for all you do to keep our community safe.  You’re the best!

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201_Ford_Interceptor2013 Ford Police Interceptor (publicity photo courtesy the Ford Motor Company)

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

The Eudora Police Department will soon be adding an SUV to the fleet of vehicles in the city.   The Eudora City Commission last week approved a purchase of a 2013 Ford Police Interceptor SUV.

“In several other meetings we have stated we were looking to replace a police car this year,”Eudora Police Chief Bill Edwards told the city Commission. “This vehicle has All Wheel Drive which this past winter would have been very helpful.”

Edwards also said that the vehicle would be of value to the department in other conditions as well.

“This vehicle is pursuit rated,” Edwards said. “If you have a non pursuit rated vehicle, it can cause issues when it gets into one. The maneuvering capabilities are also conducive for law enforcement needs and the resale value on it  down the road will be higher.”

The Police Interceptor model line from Ford is a modified version of the Ford Taurus in the sedan models and the Ford Explorer in the SUV versions. The newer versions are the replacement from the long used Crown Victoria model line.  The line is specifically designed to handle the needs of a Police Officer carrying out their duties.  This not only includes equipment and interior safety requirements, but enhanced engine performance and better fuel consumption as well.

Laird Noller Automotive in Lawrence submitted the winning bid of $25,399  for the new SUV.  Edwards told the Commission that he had talked to several other jurisdictions including Baldwin City and the Kansas Highway Patrol who had also recently purchased similar models. He stated the that the price quoted by Noller Automotive was similar to the quotes others had received when they were seeking bids.

In early 2012, the City purchased a 1989 Humvee that was designed to be used for inclement weather situations and other police needs as warranted.

“That’s a nice vehicle for events and for rugged terrain situations,” Edwards said, but when we need to transport people, whether it’s officers or criminals, this vehicle is much better suited.”

The Eudora Police Department is expected to take delivery of the new vehicle in 10 to 12 weeks.

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Broken truck window

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

Many residents in the Winchester Estates Neighborhood awoke this weekend to discover a rash of car window shootings in the area. Winchester Estates is located to the south of 14th Street and east of Winchester Road.

According to Eudora Police Chief Bill Edwards, the department had 16 different reports of vandalism to cars with several windows being shot out or damaged over the weekend.  Edwards also stated that approximately 2 weeks ago there were reports of five car windows with similar damage.

“We have been conducting a thorough investigation associated to the reports and as of today (Monday) we have identified some people of interest in the incidents,” Edwards said.

As they investigation is ongoing, Edwards declined to give any more specifics about who or even how many people may be involved in the incidents.

We will continue to follow this story and update you on any further developments.

 

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Burger_1Eudora Police Chief Bill Edwards praises Interim Police Chief David Burger for his service during the transition of Chiefs.

Eudora news and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

Former Interim Police Chief David Burger is currently being highlighted on the TV program “On the Case with Paula Zahn”.  The program airs on the Investigation Discovery (ID) Television network.

Burger talks about a murder case that he investigated in October 1979 as a member of the Shawnee, KS Police Department.

“19-year-old Tracy Fresquez was found murdered at the Arrowhead Apartments by her live-in boyfriend,” Burger told us. “At the time, we thoroughly investigated the homicide and identified a person of interest for the murder, but we could never quite get over the hump with it and couldn’t charge him.”

Shawnee Police investigated the crime over the years, but could never bring someone to justice.

“Finally, an individual came forward who stated that he got religion and confessed to being a part of the crime,” Burger added.

Burger sat down for approximately two hours with Zahn, a former co-host of the CBS Morning Program.

“They flew me into New York, drove me to the interview and then flew me out later that day,” Burger said.  “It was a long day with flight delays due to weather.”

Portions of the interview with Burger and others including the brother of the victim are shown during the one hour program.  The program premiered Sunday evening and will likely re-air several times over the course of the next few weeks.  The episode entitled “The Ultimate Sin” will next air at 9:00 AM Central time on Saturday, March 23. The ID Network is locally seen on Knology Cable channel 101, Dish Network channel 192, and Direct TV channel 285.

Burger-2Burger accepts his plaque from Chief Edwards

Burger served as Interim Police Chief in Eudora from September, 2012 until January 1 of this year.  Burger was recently honored by the Eudora City Commission and current Police Chief Bill Edwards at a ceremony at City Hall for his time as Interim Chief in Eudora.

Burger had high regards for the city staff and all the police officers in the Eudora Police Department.  He spoke about their dedication and hard work in the light of a shortage of staff.

“I love you guys,” Burger said as he wrapped up his speech to the City Council.

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City hall parking lotCrews thoroughly search a truck looking for a missing child that was reported Wednesday evening in Eudora (photo by eudorareporter.com editor John Schulz)

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

Eudora City Police and Fire crews were called to the north parking lot of Eudora City Hall on Wednesday evening around 6:00 PM when officials received a report of a child stuck in a pickup truck in the parking lot.

Crews from Eudora, Lawrence and the Douglas County Sherriff’s office responded to the incident.  The driver of the truck had reportedly to officials that he had picked up a youth approximately 30 miles away who was hitchhiking and the youth wanted to be taken to a police station for an unspecified reason.  The driver drove into Eudora and not being familiar with the town, parked at City Hall trying to locate the Police Station.  After the driver found the police station and brought police to the scene, the youth was reportedly nowhere to be found.

Fire Department and Douglas County sheriff deputies thoroughly searched the vehicle which was loaded down with equipment and could not locate the child. It was initially thought that the youth was trapped inside the vehicle.

Authorities began a door to door search for the individual and questioned any possible witnesses within a five square block region of City to attempt to locate the child.  After approximately two hours and no signs of the child, the responding departments gave up the search.

Officials continued to get to the bottom of the story and started investigating all avenues. After a discussion with a relative of the driver, that relative revealed that the driver was susceptible to delusional thoughts and had a previous history of reporting activities that had never occurred.

The driver was taken to Lawrence Memorial Hospital for evaluation.  According to Eudora Police Chief Bill Edwards, there were no plans to file any charges against the driver.

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