Overland Park officials are considering a number of ways to memorialize police officer Mike Mosher, who was shot and killed earlier this year in an altercation with a hit-and-run suspect.
The Overland Park City Council’s public safety committee discussed several options at Wednesday night’s meeting.
Renaming a yet-to-be-built police training facility after Mosher was the idea that appeared to garner the most enthusiasm from city councilmembers and police officials at the meeting. But because that option would take several years to enact, Mosher’s name may also be given sooner to a section of 123rd Street, near where he was killed on May 3.
Both Mosher and the suspect, Phillip Carney, were fatally shot after Carney pulled a revolver during the stop. Mosher was a 15-year veteran of the police force. In August, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe concluded Mosher was justified in using deadly force.
Putting Mosher’s name on a new training facility was the top choice of police officials and several committee members Wednesday. “It would be a great remembrance for Mike because he was all about training. That was his thing — training, training, training,” said Police Chief Frank Donchez.
However, a new training center isn’t in the budget pipeline until at least 2025 and wouldn’t be built for six or seven years at the soonest. The committee was advised by its legal staff not to commit to a name now because it could unfairly restrict future councilmembers.
Instead, the committee asked city staff to begin looking at a name change for roughly third-of-a-mile stretch of 123rd Street that runs from Blue Valley Parkway to Metcalf Avenue, near the Jack Sanders Justice Center.
That section would be ideal because no businesses have addresses on it that would have to be changed, Donchez pointed out. But renaming it would mean making a change to the city’s ordinance prohibiting “vanity” street names.
Councilmember John Thompson said the council should make an exception to that ordinance for this case.
Another option the committee discussed was for a blue light and perhaps a plaque to be placed near where Mosher was killed, near 123rd Street and Antioch Road. Some councilmembers said they liked the idea of doing both the light and the street renaming, since they are relatively close together.
But even though current councilmembers can’t vote for things that would happen after they’ve left office, some public safety committee members said they’d still like to see the training center eventually named after Mosher.
Mosher was a field training officer and also served as the president of the Overland Park chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police.