Kansas : Safety by City
- Cottonwood Falls
- Council Grove
- Dodge City
- Fort Scott
- Garden City
- Great Bend
- Junction City
- La Crosse
- Overland Park
- Prairie Village
Overland Park is next to Kansas City, and the second most populated city in the state with just under 200,000 people.
It is a gateway to Kansas City but has a lot going on itself.
Much of it is an upscale area with shopping areas and a big nightlife scene.
It became a city in 1960 and quadrupled in size in 10 years.
There were 21,000 people in Overland Park when it was incorporated.
It has 70 parks, a large arboretum, and a botanical garden, and its soccer complex is among the best in the nation.
Overland Park is often named one of the top 50 cities in the nation to live in because of its relatively low crime rate and cost of living.
The downtown area is not old, but it has a clock tower and is a great place for walking around, with more than 300 shops.
Warnings & Dangers in Overland Park
OVERALL RISK: LOW
Some say Overland Park is an upper-class suburb of Kansas City. It has a lot of high-tech businesses and a large professional population. Its crime rate is below national and state averages, and much lower than nearby Kansas City. Most residents feel safe in Overland Park, and there are very few high-crime areas in the city. It manages to have a small-town feel even in a very urban environment.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
There are taxis, and there is a bus system that goes throughout the city and into Kansas City. There are very few problems reported. Still, it is probably better to rent a car if you want to have complete freedom to travel while there. Taxis are metered and licensed. Some drivers may try to take a longer route if they know you are a tourist.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
There are a lot of public areas, and they can get crowded. That is the type of environment pickpockets like, but that crime is not as popular as it used to be. Even so, it is a good idea to keep your valuables, and cash, in a safe place where they cannot easily be lifted from your pocket.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: LOW
There can be tornadoes in the spring and early summer, and they can be very destructive. They have not happened often in Overland Park, but they have in surrounding areas. Snow and ice can get heavy in winter and cause traffic problems. The area is not conducive to earthquakes, and there has been very little flooding in the area.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
The crime rate is below average and there have not been a lot of muggings reported. There are some questionable areas though that you should not go into alone at night. The risk is not that great, but there is no need to put yourself in a position where the risk could arise.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
A decade or so ago, a Nazi killed some Jewish people, but other than that, there has been no terrorism in the Overland Park area. The Kansas City area would be a more likely target for terrorists. Domestic terrorism has become a concern in recent years with extremist groups, but there have been no incidents.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
A cab driver might take the long route, or a hotel may overbook, but other than that there are few scams you will run into on the streets. Most scams are online these days and are targeting elderly people. Crime is relatively low here, but it is still not a good idea to do business with a random person on the street.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: MEDIUM
Women travelers are common, and it is common to see women traveling alone. Women are safe for the most part. The crime of rape is at the state and national average, while all other crimes are below average. There is a bit of risk because of that. Avoid getting into situations where you could become a victim.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The city provides good quality water from lakes and deep wells. There have been no issues reported with the tap water in Overland Park. You can drink tap water in Overland Park without concern.
Safest Places to Visit in Overland Park
The safest areas are the public areas like the Botanical Gardens and Arboretum.
Tourist attraction areas are very safe in the city.
There are a lot of upscale hotels in the middle and northern sections that are very safe.
The southwest and northern areas are the best areas to live in, and the safest according to residents.
There are large shopping areas in the downtown area, and these are very safe as well.
Most people do not live there, so very much crime at all will push the crime rate up.
Unlike many cities of this size, the downtown area is very safe and oriented towards tourists and visitors.
Places to Avoid in Overland Park
There is more crime committed in the southeast section of Overland Park than anywhere else, and even there it is not overly bad, with about 650 per year.
The areas along the Interstates where there are cheap hotels also have some crime areas.
Roeland Park, and Shawnee Mission, on the edges of the city, are somewhat bad, but not considered dangerous.
Most of the city is safe.
Most crime is a matter of opportunity when a property is left unprotected.
The greater danger in Overland Park is someone taking advantage of an unlocked door, more than a specific area.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Overland Park
- Don’t be obvious. Avoid looking like a tourist. Don’t draw attention to yourself. The crime level is low here, but there is some crime. Criminals will often pay more attention to a tourist, and target them because they seem like an easy target.
- Don’t get lazy. Lock your car, and hide your valuables inside. The area is pretty safe, but you should not be careless and give temptation or opportunity to the person who might be a criminal in some situations. Criminals will check to see if cars are locked and will pass up those that are locked in most cases.
- Avoid the night. It is not a good idea to go out alone at night, especially if you are not familiar with the area. Most crime happens at night, and most of it happens when the opportunity arises. It is putting yourself in a potentially dangerous situation. Most crimes are below the national average, but rapes are slightly over the national average.
- Stay hydrated. Summers can get very hot. Take some water with you wherever you go. It is easy to get overheated, and by the time you notice you are overheated, it might be too late to avoid heatstroke. Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol, as those will dehydrate your body.
- Drive defensively. If you are in a rental car, stay alert at all times. Obey all traffic laws and look out for those that are not being careful. Watch out for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcycles that can be hard to see from inside a vehicle.
- Check out your car. Before heading out for the day’s adventures, check out your car for safety. Check the tire pressure, windshield wipers and look for leaks every day. At least once during your trip check fluid levels.
- Learn the area. Use crime maps before you visit the area to help determine where bad areas are. Ask at your hotel about areas to avoid. Knowing the general area will help you stay in the safe areas and avoid those areas that are questionable.
- Watch the weather. Pay attention to weather reports and heed any warnings given. In winter, snow can come quickly and cause traffic problems. In spring some tornadoes and thunderstorms can also cause problems.
- Tell a friend. If you are going somewhere by yourself, tell someone where you are going and when you plan to be back. If there is a problem, they will know to come to look for you after a certain amount of time. It is a good idea for someone to know where you are in general.
- Don’t be flashy. Avoid letting anyone see your cash, or where you keep your wallet. Don’t count your money in public. Avoid showing off expensive electronics or jewelry. This area is not dangerous, but there are some criminals in almost any environment. Don’t make yourself a target.
So... How Safe Is Overland Park Really?
Overland Park is very safe for tourists, but it is still a good idea to keep your eyes open and to stay out of potentially dangerous situations.
The violent crime rate was 146 per 100,000, while the national average is 208.
That has gone up by 30 points since 2000, and the national average has gone up by 68 points.
It is a bit unusual, but the property crime rate is almost the same as the violent crime rate.
In Overland Park, the property crime rate is 143 per 100,000, while the national average is 190.
The property crime rate has declined by 50 points since 2004, while the national rate has gone down by 140.
The number of rapes has increased dramatically since 2014, and reached a high of about 80 per 100,000 in 2015.
It has gone down to about 50 now but is still double the national average.
This could be because of awareness and more reporting, so it isn’t known if the actual number has increased.
The number of assaults, in general, is also above the national average, but the city is not above any other crime category.
Robberies were at a high of about 150 per 100,000 in 2008 and have decreased to 80 now, while the national average has gone up in that time.
Crime stats are one thing, but the level of safety residents feel is a better indicator.
In one community survey, 98 percent of residents felt safe in their own homes, and 91 percent were satisfied with the quality of police and fire protection.
Seventy-four percent said it was a good place to visit, but the lower number was not attributed to safety.
How Does Overland Park Compare?
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You have to have a Visa to enter the country, and Kansas City is the closest international airport. You will not need it to go to Overland Park, but it can be used for identification. You must get your visa in the country you live in before you depart.
The U.S. Dollar is the standard currency and the only cash that merchants accept in Overland Park. You may use a credit card from anywhere and the currency exchange will be made automatically. You may also exchange currency at any bank.
Summers are hot, but not unbearable. Some sunscreen and maybe a hat will keep you safe from the sun. Winters are cold and there can be a lot of snow. Winter is not the best time to visit.
Kansas City's international airport is 25 miles away, to the northwest. There are taxis and buses available to take you to hotels in Overland Park. There are private airports in the immediate area that cater to private planes and jets.
Travel insurance is something good to have, and something you hope you will not need. It is better to be safe than sorry. Having some insurance will give you peace of mind as you travel.
Overland Park Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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Kansas - Safety by City