Terry Anderson of Lenexa recently became the new Superintendent of Safety and Outdoor Education (SOE) for JCPRD. Anderson stepped into the position on Sept. 23 following the retirement of longtime Superintendent Dan Field.
Anderson has been with the Johnson County Park Police since January 1990 when he started as a ranger I. He was promoted to ranger II in 1994, promoted to sergeant in 2000, and promoted to captain in 2005. Anderson has served as administrative captain since 2015. In this capacity, he has been responsible for the recruitment and hiring of new officers, including coordinating hiring processes, background investigations, and initial, field, and ongoing training. He also maintains a database documenting officer training, and reports it to the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center. Another of Anderson's roles has been risk manager for all of JCPRD. This involves conducting safety audits, reviewing certificates of insurance, reviewing incident reports involving JCPRD liability, responding to claims against the agency, investigating those claims, and reviewing and working with the district's insurance carriers to complete claims.
In addition to being fully-certified law enforcement officers, Johnson County Park Police officers also present outdoor education programs. During the first 15 and a half years of working for the district, Anderson presented programs to thousands of participants, including the department's archeology and tipi programs. He also led a Devil's Ice Box Cave Trip for about eight years and developed the map & compass program, as well as an afternoon portion of the archeology school fieldtrip program.
Anderson holds a bachelor's of science degree in park resource management from Kansas State University and is a 2007 graduate of the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety's School of Police Staff and Command.
Anderson is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Recreation & Park Association, and the Kansas Recreation & Park Association.
"I love working for the park district and have for 28 and a half years; it's really my home away from home," Anderson said. “I like the chance to be creative and working with creative and talented people. Since I’ve been here for many years, I bring a continuity of the service that we've already been providing."
"Terry has served JCPRD for more than 28 years in all capacities within the Park Police Department," said JCPRD Executive Director Jill Geller. "He has established successful relationships with other law enforcement agencies in Johnson County and beyond, and is a highly respected member of the law enforcement community. With the new Safety Plan, updated Ernie Miller Nature Center Master Plan, updated TimberRidge Adventure Center Master Plan, and the great support of our JCPRD Board and the Board of County Commissioners, these are very exciting times for the SOE Division and for JCPRD as a whole. I am confident in Terry’s abilities to lead the SOE division into and through this new era. He will provide excellent leadership for this department. He is visionary, dedicated, and passionate about our organization and the SOE Division."
As part of its budget for 2019, the Johnson County Park Police Department will be adding four additional officers after the first of the year. This increase from 24 to 28 officers is a natural part of JCPRD’s recent and ongoing growth as it continues to open new parks and facilities throughout the county.
"Our goal is really to get our new JCPRD Safety Plan implemented, and it really starts with recruiting, hiring, and training officers," Anderson said. "We have those four new positions to fill for 2019, and with three more positions to fill due to recent attrition, in the next six or seven months, we will probably hire a record level of new officers."