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Apr 22

Administrative Captain enjoyed making a difference in people’s lives

Posted on April 22, 2022 at 2:30 PM by Becky Burnside

The positive impact he and his department have had on people’s lives is what Park Police Administrative Captain Rob Weber is proudest of during his time with JCPRD. 

“I honestly don’t see it as an individual accomplishment,” he said. “Without getting too specific, it’s the way we interact with people during the absolute worst time in their lives and somehow make tragedies just a little more tolerable for them. I know having read letters from school kids, parents, and teachers that we have certainly made a positive impression through both our police work and our programming.”

Weber is retiring May 18 after nearly 35 years in law enforcement, including more than 22 years with JCPRD.

“Captain Weber will forever be known for his friendly and engaging personality along with his love for teaching,” said Superintendent of Safety and Outdoor Education Terry Anderson.

Weber first came to JCPRD in April 2000 as a park ranger I. He progressed through the ranks, becoming a park ranger II in December 2002, ranger field supervisor in January 2006, park police sergeant in June 2007, operations captain in July 2014, and administrative captain in January 2021.

“I come from a family of seven siblings,” Weber explained. “We took a vacation every summer - almost always of the tent camping variety - so I developed a love for the outdoors very early on. I always loved exploring the places we went and learning all about the flora, fauna, and natural history. As I grew older and could get myself out, I took up hunting and fishing. I had several fishing buddies who were police officers and their stories were always intriguing to me. I started my law enforcement career in Leawood. At that time I didn’t even know there was such a thing as the park police department, but I attended the academy with one of the recruits from here (JCPRD). I came over after 12 years in Leawood and have been here for the last approximately 22 years.”

It was always the ‘hands-on’ aspects of the job and outdoor education duties he enjoyed the most, he said. 

Rob Weber as Bloody Hands“Honestly, the most fun I had here was when I was actually doing the things I dreamt of when I first started thinking about this as a career: the foot patrols along the trails or off the beaten path, interacting with the folks that come out to the park, boat patrols, bike patrols, and having been involved in the Heritage History Lab and the archeology (school fieldtrip) programs when my time was really split between patrol and interpretive programming. It was a really fun time for me.”

He talked about what he sees as JCPRD’s strengths and challenges for the future.

“I think this district has so much going for it, but first and foremost the people I’ve met here top to bottom are just phenomenal,” Weber said. “There’s a dedication here second to none. Plus, let's face it, working for a park system certainly has its own perks. With green spaces disappearing and an ever-increasing demand for their usage, just keeping parks and facilities up to the standards they are now will be a challenge.”

As to why he decided to retire now, he said he just knew it was time.

“I’ve done this for nearly 35 years and I just feel like it’s time for me to step aside,” he said. “My wife and I have plans - we’re moving to Florida. I honestly can’t stand the cold weather and after spending a few Christmas times down there, it’s kind of my paradise. My wife will continue her teaching career down there and I’m hoping to get into park or golf course maintenance. We’ll have our youngest, Lindsay, down there with us and our other two, Kaitlin and Tyler, will be here attending the University of Kansas.”