September 5, 2013

With a new school year upon us, the Riley County Police wants to offer a few tips to help protect you from becoming a victim of crime. We also wanted to remind you of some ways you can make dealing with the police easier and maybe avoid visiting the Riley County Jail or one of our two courthouses in town. 

When of age to drink, make sure you are doing it responsibly. When you become overly intoxicated you become a target for crimes like robbery, battery and sexual assault. There are also many health concerns with drinking past a safe limit. RCPD along with Riley County EMS and Manhattan Fire Department often come across people who don't know where they live, where their friends are, or even where they are while they are being talked to. With temperatures fluctuating in Kansas it is likely that these individuals could potentially risk injury or death due to their "fun" night out.

Walk in groups and stick with friends. Groups of people who walk in areas that are well lit, visible to the general public and along well traveled roads greatly reduce their risk of becoming a victim. RCPD doesn't suggest that you walk home alone after a night out. If you must, contact a taxi service, a sober friend, or even a family member to take you home safely.

Lock your vehicles and homes. Nearly 80% of vehicle burglaries in Riley County involve a vehicle that was left unsecure. Take the time to lock up, and greatly reduce your risk of becoming victim of vehicle and residential burglary. 

The noise ordinance in Manhattan, Kansas is enforced on a regular basis. If you choose to play loud music, hold loud parties, or create noise at loud volumes you most likely will be visited by RCPD and in a lot of cases issued a notice to appear citation. Please remember to keep music and noise at a low volume, keep parties to a minimum amount of participants, and if possible leave parties and potential noise-makers indoors. 

Drinking can wait. If you are under the age of 21 and drinking, chances are we will run across one another. The use of alcohol, fake identification cards, or even borrowed identification cards just isn't a good idea. It's not worth the time in court, money in fines, or stress of dealing with the ramifications if this offense. 

Please don't serve or supply alcohol to minors. If you are hosting a party or get-together at you home, apartment, or property make sure you are aware of those in attendance. If you have providing a place for minors to consume alcohol, you put yourself at risk and can receive a notice to appear in court for "hosting." This is an expensive crime to commit and just isn't worth the hassle.  

The City of Manhattan has adopted a no talking while driving (without a hands-free device) law. This means you can receive a ticket for approximately $140.00 if you aren't using a headset or Bluetooth device. Speaker phone is also a good alternative, however you should make sure not to be holding the phone in your hand during your speakerphone conversation (it defeats the purpose of hands-free). Texting and driving is also prohibited in the State of Kansas and has led to serious injury and death, your texts can wait, please don't become of the many who regret not paying attention to the road.

Following too closely is a major cause of accidents in Manhattan and Riley County. Make sure to increase the distance between the cars in front you, to give yourself the ability to stop and avoid a collision. Officers use many tools to judge this distance, to include factoring speed and time it takes to travel a set distance, laser technology, and eyesight based on training and experience. 

You are required by law to identify yourself when being stopped by police who are actively investigating an incident. This doesn't mean that any officer may demand you identify yourself for any reason. We ask that when dealing with officers you remain polite and respectful, we should do the same. Many times you are actually the one that helps us break a case and our encounters with you are not always "bad." 

Signing a citation is important. It does not mean that you are admitting guilt, but instead affirms that you have been explained the citation and given a court date. This signature is your promise to appear before a judge as our officers will explain to you. If you refuse to sign the citation, you could find yourself instead going to jail for the offense you would have originally been issued a notice to appear "ticket" for. 

For more information check out resources on this website and remember to be social with Riley County Police on Twitter and Facebook