GPD FAQ

The Goodland Police Department does allow citizens to ride along with an officer.  In fact, we encourage it and would be thrilled to have you come visit.  Although no reservation is necessary, it is recommended that you call ahead to arrange a good time to ride.

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All commonly manufactured vehicles are supposed to have a unique “Vehicle Identification Number”.  This is basically a serial number to help identify the vehicle.  The State of Kansas requires that citizens have a VIN Inspection done before they can register a vehicle.  In this inspection, a law enforcement officer basically confirms the mileage and VIN of the vehicle before the citizen applies for a tag with the County Treasurer’s Office.  The State of Kansas requires that the Police Department charge a $20 fee for this inspection.  Some of the money is sent to the state, and the rest is kept by the City.  This fee is something that is set by the State, and the City of Goodland has no control over it.  In Goodland, the Police Department uses our portion of the fees to help fund equipment and training.   This allows us to request less tax money for our budget every year at budget time.

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Yes.  Please see the “Animal Control” Section of this webpage for information about this subject.

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Anyone wishing to block off a street or otherwise alter traffic is required to obtain a permit.  This is accomplished by filling out a simple form that can be obtained at the Police Department (or the City Lobby) during business hours.  This form simply lets the various city departments know what types of help you will need to conduct your event.

After you fill out the form, return it to the Police Department or the City Lobby.  You should hear back from someone in a few days to let you know if the permit is approved and to discuss any questions.

There is a small “barricade fee” attached to the permit.  However, that fee can be waived if the event is for a public purpose (such as the annual Homecoming Parade or Christmas Parade).

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There are no bicycles, skateboards, or other types of wheeled devices allowed on the sidewalks of the Main Street Business Corridor (where all of the businesses are located).  This rule is in place to ensure that the sidewalks can be used safely by pedestrians.  This rule does not apply to wheelchairs, mobility scooters, or any devices intended to help the disabled.

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Semi trucks and travel trailers can not be parked on city streets for more than two hours at a time.   Parking on Main Street is also restricted at certain times of the night on certain days of the week, in order to allow the streets to be adequately cleaned.  It is also illegal to keep an inoperable vehicle on city streets.

These things are all regulated by city ordinance.

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What type of vehicle you can drive on what type of road is regulated by two sources: State Statute and City Ordinances.  These rules can change and they are sometimes confusing.  If you have concerns, please reference the state statutes listed by the vehicle you are trying to find out about.  The State of Kansas publishes its statutes online.  Due to the many different types of vehicles out there, it can be very frustrating to find out what rules apply to the vehicle you want to use.  Hopefully, the summaries below can help.

In general, the following rules apply to vehicles in the City of Goodland.

Traditional Automobiles: Traditional cars and trucks can be driven on any street or in any alley.  Semi type trucks or motorhomes may have some parking restrictions (please see the section on parking restrictions).

Work Site Utility Vehicles: Kansas Statute 8-1493  This is usually a “gator” type vehicle that lets two people sit side by side.  These vehicles cannot be operated on city streets in Goodland.

Micro Utility Truck: Kansas Statute 8-1494   These vehicles can be operated on the streets of Goodland.  In order to drive one of these in Goodland, the truck has to have proper safety equipment.  You have to also procure a “non-highway title” from the state.  Once you have procured the title from the state, you have to register the vehicle with the Police Department.  They will give you a sticker which shows the vehicle has met all of the above requirements.   You are also required to have insurance on the vehicle.  A driver’s license is required to operate one of these.

Low Speed Vehicle (LSV): Kansas Statute 8- 1488   These are four wheeled electric vehicles with a top speed of 20-25 mph.  This does not include most golf carts.  These vehicles can be operated on City Streets with a speed limit of less than 40 MPH.  However, they have to be registered, and you have to have a driver’s license.

Motorized bicycle: Kansas Statute 8-1439a   This would include most electric scooters that produce less than 3.5 horsepower and have an engine smaller than 130cc.  They are required to have registration, but are not required to have insurance.  You do need to have a driver’s license to drive one of these.  These can be driven on City Streets.  You must wear a helmet if you are under years of age.

Electric Assisted Bicycle: Kansas Statute 8-1489  This is a regular bicycle that has a small motor attached to it.  You don’t need registration, insurance, or a driver’s license to use one of these.

Motor-driven cycle:  Kansas Statute 8-1439    This is every motorcycle and motorscooter with less than 5 horsepower.  The big difference between the motor-driven cycle and motorized bicycle is the horsepower.  This is required to have a registration and you do have to have insurance.  You need a motorcycle driver’s license to operate this.

Pocket Bikes/ Mini-Scooters:  These are mini motorcycles.  They are not street legal.

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The dispatchers who answer the phone when you call for police assistance work for a totally separate entity.  In 1996, the City of Goodland and Sherman County decided to consolidate their existing Police and Sheriff Dispatch units.  They signed a 10 year agreement that formed the Sherman County Central Dispatch Center.  This model was employed to help eliminate duplication of services.  In 2006, the City and County signed another 10 year contract.  In it’s current form, Central Dispatch is headed by a Director who answers directly to the County Commission.  As part of the contractual agreement, the City of Goodland provides the building space that houses Central Dispatch.  Although Dispatch is located in the City Police Department, they are an independent county division that is not affiliated with either the Sheriff’s Office or the Police Department.

Central Dispatch acts as a central information hub for all public safety communications needs in Sherman County.  After they receive a call, they determine the appopriate agency to route the call to.  In addition to dispatching for the Police and Sheriff’s Departments, they also provide dispatch services for all local fire departments and Northwest Kansas Emergency Medical Services.

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Due to security and financial reasons, the Goodland Police Department does not respond to patch requests made via email.

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Most states (including Kansas) divide themselves into counties.  They do this because the state government knows it can’t run everything from Topeka.  Counties are the “arm of the state”.  Each county is required by the state to fulfill certain necessary functions.  They have to run a courthouse,  maintain records, collect taxes, prosecute violations of state law, house prisoners in a jail, provide basic roads and bridges, record deeds, and other basic government functions.

When a certain area of the county becomes especially populated, the people in that area sometimes decide they want extra services, in addition to what the county is providing them.  That’s when a city gets formed.  Cities provide services above and beyond what the county provides.  These services may include more sidewalks, more parks, better streetlights, and sometimes extra law enforcement patrol.

That’s what a Police Department is typically for.  The Sherman County Sheriff’s Office is an agency required to exist as part of the system set up by the state, and they perform a wide range of functions.  Although some of their manpower is dedicated to patrolling the streets of Sherman County, they also have to run the jail, transport prisoners, and perform various judicial functions like serving court papers.

In addition to doing all of the above functions, the dedicated Deputies at the Sherman County Sheriff’s Office have a vast area of land to patrol (over 1,000 square miles).  In the early 20th Century, the citizens of Goodland decided they wanted more law enforcement coverage in their particular part of the county (which is now only about 4.5 square miles of that massive county).  That’s why the Goodland Police Department exists.

The Sheriff’s Office does have jurisdiction in Goodland and their duties sometimes overlap with those of the Police Department.  However, these two agencies have very different functions and are not simply copies of one another.

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The City Police Department chiefly enforces Kansas State Statutes and Goodland City Ordinances.  State Statutes are laws that are passed by the state legislature.  They typically include all of the different crimes one might think of such as murder, aggravated battery, etc.  You can view Kansas’s statutes at kansasstatutes.lesterama.org or various other places on the internet.

In addition to state statutes, the Goodland Police Department also enforces city ordinances.  Ordinances are laws passed by a city.  They typically include misdemeanor (less serious) crimes such as simple battery and traffic offenses.  Ordinances also include city specific laws such as “no bicycles allowed on the sidewalks of Main Street” type laws.  You  can view Goodland’s City Ordinances on this website.  They are listed under the section entitled “City Code”.

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