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Park Police caution dog owners before heading to dog park

Posted: 4:52 PM, Mar 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-03-16 18:31:55-04

SHAWNEE, Kan. -- Nearly every day, Vicki Barker and her dog Zooey make their way to the Shawnee Mission dog park.

“We have 62 acres we can wonder off to,” Barker said. “[Her dog] usually has two dozen dogs that she runs and plays with.”

As the weather warms up, some people aren’t always there for the reasons Barker and Zooey are.

“If we see someone in the park that don’t have a dog, it’s like stranger danger,” Barker said.

On Thursday, a woman reported to police that two suspicious men, who had no dogs, kept following her, making her feel uncomfortable.

“She actually did exactly what she should’ve done,” said Park Police Captain Rob Weber. “She was vigilant and she trusted her instincts. That's exactly what we encourage you to do.”

Police are also trusting their own instincts by taking extra precautions.

“Really you have the protection not only of the Park Police, but Lenexa and Shawnee Park police as well,” Weber said. “We will cover it with bike patrols, foot patrols, and of course in cars as well.”

Police encourage you to let someone know where you’ll be, trust your instincts and travel in groups. 

“That's how we've all gotten to know one another,” Barker said. “Either our dogs have started playing together or, ‘Do you mind if I walk with you?’”

It’s also the time of year when car burglaries are on the rise.

If you head to the dog parks, travel light, lock your doors and make sure your valuables are out of sight.