Friday, October 31, 2008

Police Chief Chat - Awards Banquet / Fight / Halloween Safety

Good morning! I hope you had a great week and a safe Halloween. We kicked off our “Project Halloween” campaign by assigning additional officers to patrol the traditional “hot spots” for trick-or-treaters around the city. The Patrol Division was supplemented by a host of Missouri S&T students who travel in groups in these same areas looking for unsafe activity, lost children and other dangerous situations, then report them to the patrol officers assigned to that area. Thank you to Missouri S&T for your support and continued assistance.

Our Behind the Badge group held a bake sale Thursday evening at the Wal-Mart Supercenter to raise money for charitable events and to sponsor our annual awards banquet which will be held this evening at the Havener Center. The bake sale raised over $300.00 in just 2 hours, which is remarkable considering all the other events going on at this time. Thank you to the ladies of the Behind the Badge organization for the time and effort to create some wonderful snacks and desserts and to Wal-Mart Supercenter for allowing us to hold the sale at the store.

Our annual awards banquet is an opportunity for our Rolla Police Family to get together and pay tribute to the members of our agency that went above and beyond what is considered the normal call to duty to protect our community and keep our citizens safe. My staff and I gather recommendations throughout the year from supervisors, other officers and citizens then award citations to officers and civilian personnel that qualify for the following awards: Medal of Honor, Legion of Honor, Combat Cross, Wounded in Combat, Gallantry Star, Gallantry Star, Grand Cordon, Meritorious Service, Life Saving, Samaritan, Queen’s Honor, Distinguished Volunteer Service, Exceptional Duty, Honorable Service, Civilian Service, Educational Achievement and the Letter of Recognition.

Typically, the bulk of the awards are from the Exceptional Duty, Honorable Service and Letters of Recognition, but on occasion the officers become involved in situations that warrant the more prestigious awards such as the Medal of Honor and Gallantry Star. It is very common to award several Life Saving Honors for the year for officers who have performed CPR and other life saving techniques to restore life in threatening situations.

On another note, I read a disturbing report that was submitted by Cpl. Harry Eckman regarding his response to a fight call in the 1200 block of Holloway St. on Wednesday afternoon. The call came in as several subjects involved in an altercation in that area. Investigation revealed that 2 male juveniles had received an invitation via cell phone, from 2 other male juveniles to meet them at the location and fight over a pre-existing disagreement. Allegedly, the 4 male juveniles arrived at the location where an argument ensued, that led to a pushing exchange then eventually the pushing escalated to a full blown brawl where at least 3 other male juveniles and an adult male became involved in the fracas. Overall, at least 2 male juveniles were hospitalized for their injuries and others sought individual treatment.

What concerns me is the willingness of the initial male juveniles to meet at some location to commit a serious crime. Secondly, the alleged involvement of an adult male, who is supposed to know better, but becomes active as a primary aggressor in the situation. The adult male was arrested for 2 counts of assault in the 1st degree and 9 counts of endangering the welfare of a juvenile. These are serious crimes and carry substantial punishment upon conviction. This situation is troubling in that it reminds me of a very similar situation where a Rolla youth was kicked and beaten at a local restaurant over a trivial matter that led to a permanent brain injury. Please realize this type of situation can get out of hand real quick and lead to serious injury or death to those involved and may also lead to substantial punishment to those responsible. Think before you act!

In closing, I would like to mention that our Law Enforcement Torch Run Trivia Night was tremendous fun and a great success. We were able to raise over $1500.00 for our Special Olympic athletes thanks to the support received from both the entering teams and our sponsors. Without you, we could not succeed. Special thanks to Administrative assistant Kerri Schultz, Lt. Doug James and S/Sgt. Rick Williams for their coordination efforts to make the evening a success. Thank you for helping us help the athletes!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Citiy Talk - Fall City-Wide clean-up nets 95 tons of bulk waste

“Green Communities” or “The Greening of America” continue to be among the most popular catch-phrases used these days in pop culture and the mass media. And when it comes to recycling, conservation and environmentally-conscious communities, Rolla and Phelps County are putting up some pretty solid numbers.

With the cooperation, involvement and assistance from the residents of Rolla, and the hard work of the City’s Solid Waste Department, the City-wide residential fall clean-up held on Oct. 4 was a big success. How big of a success was it? I’m told by Brady Wilson, Director of Solid Waste, that members of the Sanitation Division collected nearly 95 tons of bulk waste in nine hours during the one day event.

To put this into perspective, try to imagine how many cars or trucks (weighing in at 2 to 4 tons each) it would take lined up along the street to equal 95 tons of bulk waste. Quite a few. The clean-up, which is held twice a year in the fall and spring, (first Saturday of October and April.), has become one of the most popular and successful events/services of the year. The City-wide residential spring clean-up for next year will be held on Saturday, April 4, 2009 so you might want to make a note of it on your calendar. All items must be to the curb by 6 a.m. on that day. A list of important dates can also be viewed on the City’s Website at

Have you ever considered how many tons of recycled materials are actually collected every month by the City’s Recycling Division? During the month of September, 2008, 168 tons of recyclables were shipped from the Recycling Center. This amount is approximately equivalent to 24 fully loaded garbage trucks, or 480 compacted cubic yards. The disposal cost avoided by recycling this volume is approximately $7,500. The revenue received form the sale of these recyclable commodities totals approximately $21,800 for a total economic benefit of $29,300 from recycling for the month. To put this into perspective, during the same month, the Sanitation Division collected and hauled a total of 1,616 tons of refuse. This total monthly tonnage represents approximately 231 fully loaded garbage trucks or 4,620 compacted cubic yards. The cost to dispose of this amount of refuse was $72,000. Clearly, recycling takes a pretty hefty bite out of the refuse that is collected every month.

Looking ahead toward the month of November, if that seems possible, Rolla City Hall will be closed Monday, Nov. 11 in observance of the Veterans Day holiday. The Solid Waste Department will be picking up Tuesday’s trash on Wednesday. Rolla City Hall will be closed on Nov. 27 and 28 for the Thanksgiving Day Holiday. Thursday’s trash will be picked up on Wednesday.

For more information, please call the Solid Waste Department at (573) 364-6693 or visit their homepage on the City’s Website at

Friday, October 24, 2008

Police Chief Chat - Trivia Night / Felons & Firearms

Good morning. I hope you had a great week and were able to get to the Rolla Crafts Festival. The weather was perfect and from I could gather the crowd was bigger than anticipated. This week we have a very busy Saturday as I mentioned in my last article, in that we have the bicycle and surplus property auction here at the Police Department that will begin at 9:00 am. Try to be here by 8:30 am to get registered as a buyer. There are over 75 bicycles and quite an assortment of surplus property that typically sell fairly quickly and fairly cheap, so don’t miss this opportunity to get a good deal.

Then on Saturday night, we will host our 8th Annual Law Enforcement Torch Run “Trivia Night” to benefit Special Olympics. This event will be held at the Rolla Elk’s Lodge where we will provide food and an available cash bar to the players. The 2007 winning team “Ground Chuck” will be returning and will have the distinct pleasure of being seated at the cherished “Head Table” will trying to defend their championship. Our team roster is full this year, but please keep us in mind in October 2009 to enter a team. We have a great time and it is for a great cause.

Since the beginning of the school year, we have received ongoing complaints from both citizens and school personnel of a large gathering of young people near the Rolla High School. The complaints were that several people in the group were smoking and leaving trash and cigarette butts on the ground. The group was comprised of both students and non-students who gather before and after school to smoke and in order to comply with the no-smoking on school property policy, were gathering on the sidewalks at the edge of the parking lot. My staff and School Resource Officer Sgt. Wayne Rapier met with school administrators and discussed the problem. My staff and Patrol Division then began patrolling the area and issuing tickets to anyone in violation of state law or city ordinances. So far, several students and some non-students have been cited and a an even larger number have been issued warnings. This operation will continue until the problem is alleviated.

The Missouri Legislature made significant changes to the law dealing with felons in possession of firearms, and Missouri law now more closely follows federal law. It is now a class C felony for any convicted felon to possess any firearm, including a handgun, rifle or shotgun. Missouri has not historically been so restrictive. The state’s prohibition had been limited to concealable weapons (such as handguns) and applied to only “dangerous” felons. A dangerous felon was an individual who plead guilty to , or was convicted of, only certain felonies. For this reason, most convicted felons could use a rifle or shotgun for hunting if they completed their probation or parole. Under Missouri law, a “conviction” includes a suspended execution of sentence (SES), but does not include a suspended imposition of sentence (SIS). Thus, if someone who pleads guilty and receives an SIS is not deemed a convicted felony for purposes of this law. Because the prohibition now includes rifles and shotguns, many felons who could lawfully hunt under Missouri law, may no longer do so. (Bows are not “firearms” and felons may continue to bow hunt.) As was the case before the 2008 change, a felon cannot obtain a concealable weapons permit under Missouri law. This includes felons receiving an SIS.

Next Friday, October 31, 2008 is Halloween and since the date falls on a Friday night, parents and children need to exercise caution when trick or treating. The significance of celebrating on Friday night will mean that since it is the beginning of the weekend, there may be more children on the streets that if it were a school night. In addition, there are sure to be Halloween parties that night and increased traffic to and from the parties. This combination of more children on the streets and increased traffic could lead to more accidents or injuries. Please remember the basic rules for children participating in Halloween.
Parents should accompany their children and visit only homes of people you know.
Homes that are well lit should be chosen over those that are not.
Children should refrain from eating anything until inspected.
Costumes should be light in color and reflective tape should be used on them.
Costumes should have eye openings for good visibility and be properly fitted to prevent tripping.
Children should carry a flashlight and cross at marked intersections only.

And to the adults who plan to attend Halloween parties. Please remember that there will be parents and children along your route trick or treating. Pay close attention in neighborhoods especially at intersections and crosswalks. Do not drink and drive and if you do drink, use the buddy system, call a cab or have a sober friend drive you, but do not drink and drive.

In closing, last Saturday, Patrolman Jose Rodriquez was injured while riding an ATV and was air-lifted to St. Louis for treatment. I am happy to announce that although he will be on light duty for a while, Jose will fully recover and be returned to full duty.

Monday, October 20, 2008

City Talk - Lee Maples is living legend at Rolla National Airport

It’s not every day that you honor someone in the community after 35 years of service, so it was my distinct pleasure on Wednesday, Oct. 15 to join Ed Schmidt, President of Baron Aviation Services, Inc. and other members of the Rolla National Airport community in recognizing the contributions that Lee Maples has made to the Rolla community.

It was actually 50 years ago on October 15, 1958 that Mr. Maples, a respected businessman and aviator, was hired by the City of Rolla and then Rolla Mayor Eugene Northern as the first manager of Rolla National Airport (RNA) where he served the needs of the airport and local aviation community until 1967.

The proclamation I presented to Mr. Maples at Baron Aviation headquarters at Rolla National Airport was the City’s way of saying how much Lee was respected, appreciated and remembered by the City of Rolla, the staff at Baron Aviation Services, Inc. and staff at Rolla National Airport. If anyone could tell you the history of Rolla National Airport before and after it was an abandoned U.S. military Army Airfield where World War II pilots once trained, it would have to be Lee Maples. In fact Mr. Maples liked Rolla National Airport so much he moved into one of the abandoned Army barracks when he was hired as the airport manager. He lived there with his family until 1970. The stories that he fondly recalls during his days at the Rolla National Airport are the stuff that books and novels are written about.

A U.S. Army veteran, who served and flew planes in the Army Air Corps from 1943 to 1946 (he enlisted on Oct. 15, 1943), Lee transformed Rolla National Airport from a run-down, derelict military base to a thriving airport. Not long after his nine-year stint as the first manager at Rolla National Airport, Lee started Maples Aviation in 1967 where he was a local Cessna aircraft dealer, charter operator, and flight instructor for aviators and ROTC Flight Cadets attending Missouri S&T (then known as Missouri School of Mines). In the late 1960s and early 1970s Mr. Maples along with Ed Schmidt, President of Baron Aviation Services, Inc., had contracts with the Forest Service to provide air tanker support for wild fire control in Missouri’s national forests using a pair of converted WW-II vintage aircraft. It was during this time that Lee began fostering relationships and began attracting businesses such as Kingsford Charcoal, Missouri S&T (then know as Missouri School of Mines), Brewer Science and various other businesses and state agencies who needed to fly in and out of the area for business. The impact of the early in-roads Lee made to encourage air transport and business development in and around Rolla National Airport continues to live on with more businesses and state agencies using the airport to conduct business, tour the Rolla area or just touch down long enough to have their plane refueled for the next leg of their journey.

In 1973 Mr. Maples, along with his long-time friend and business associate Ed Schmidt, started Baron Aviation Services, Inc., which is headquartered at Rolla National Airport. The privately owned company, and largest employer at RNA, provides contractual services for FedEx Express Services, and operates a fleet of 36 Cessna Caravans for FedEX.

So it was doubly fitting that on Oct. 15, 2008 that Lee was honored and recognized by the members of the Baron Aviation team at Rolla National Airport in celebrating not only the 35th anniversary of Baron Aviation, but the contributions Lee has made throughout his career to Baron Aviation, the Rolla National Airport, and residents and businesses in South Central Missouri.

Monday, October 13, 2008

City Talk - RC6 Brings Global Recognition to Rolla community

After only a couple of months of being on the air, Rolla Channel 6 (RC6) – Rolla’s premiere Education and Government television channel, has brought world-wide recognition to the City of Rolla.

Since RC6 is a local channel broadcast only in the Rolla area you may ask how this was possible. It was made possible through one of the many pre-produced programs that run on a regular basis on RC6 called Army Newswatch. It is one of the many outstanding programs, including Missouri Outdoors that is free programming made available through the diligent efforts of Gabe Mankin, Video Production Manager of RC6.

If you haven’t had an opportunity to view Army Newswatch, which is produced bi-weekly, there is a segment in the program called “Shout Out” where the host of the show “shouts out” the names of communities, cities and towns all across the U.S. that air the Army Newswatch program. Since Rolla airs Army Newswatch on a regular basis, Rolla is one of the cities currently being spotlighted, along with the City’s logo, on Army Newswatch.

What this means is that if you have a son or daughter or grandson, or other family member or friend serving in the military overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Philippines, or any other area of the world, and they watch Army Newswatch, they are hearing their hometown (Rolla) being mentioned where they are stationed. And even if you don’t have a son or daughter or family member serving in the U.S. Army, it is refreshing to know that RC6 – through Army Newswatch - is providing a hometown connection to these courageous young men and women who serve our country. If you haven’t yet viewed Army Newswatch on RC6, I encourage you to tune in sometime and take a look at the program and the many fascinating individuals and areas of the world it spotlights.

As a big advocate of anything outdoors, I particularly enjoy viewing the Missouri Outdoors program that frequently airs on RC6. The show, which is produced by the Missouri Department of Conservation, showcases the abundant natural resources in many areas near Rolla such as Meramec Springs Park in St. James (just 8 miles east of Rolla), Montauk State Park and many other conservation and wilderness areas nearby. Other pre-produced programs airing on RC6 include: After the Storm, Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Services (CSREES) Partners Video Magazine, NASA Science Files, World Energy Television, PlaySports TV, Perils for Pedestrians, Road to Recovery and Friends in Discovery.

The Rolla City Council meetings (held the first and third Monday of the Month at 6:30 p.m.), along with Planning and Zoning Commission Meetings and Rolla Public Schools (RPS) Board meetings, of course air on a regular basis on RC6 as well all Rolla High School football home games and other RPS sporting events. A community calendar listing the many City, Rolla Public Schools and free community events in the Rolla area also airs daily on RC6. For more information regarding programming or DVD duplication of Rolla City Council and Rolla Public Schools board meetings, and RHS sporting events, please contact Gabe Mankin, RC6 Video Production Manager, at (573) 426-3377 or at

RC6 is a jointly funded education and government cable channel provided by the City of Rolla, Rolla Public Schools, and Fidelity Cablevision. The mission of RC6 is to enhance the City of Rolla’s and Rolla Public Schools’ public information and communication systems, involve the community in local government and Rolla Public School decision-making, and provide useful information to the public.

Another important communication tool the City of Rolla is making available to the residents of our community is a BLOG that is linked on the City’s homepage at The City is now posting my weekly City Talk column and Police Chief Mark Kearse’s City Chat column on the City’s BLOG at We welcome your comments, input and feedback.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Police Chief Chat - Scams / Crimes against the Elderly / Fatality Accident

Good morning! I hope you had a great week. The Fall season brings us cooler weather, shorter days and busy schedules. This past week Lt. Jim Macormic and S/Sgt. Rick Williams travelled to Springfield, Missouri to attend the annual Missouri Intergovernmental Risk Management Association (MIRMA) Seminar entitled “Bricks and Mortar: Laying the Foundation for Litigation Defense”. The sessions were hosted by retired Assistant Police Chief Steve Ijames. Mr. Ijames is a 29 year veteran of the Springfield Police Department and has obtained a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. Mr. Ijames is considered an expert in less lethal force devices such as impact projectiles, chemical munitions, noise flash diversionary devices and Taser) devices. Information was provided on management, policy writing, training and practices governing these tools. The Rolla Police Department currently utilizes several less lethal devices designed to help prevent serious or fatal injuries to suspects that we try to apprehend in criminal activity. The class talked about the taser, stating that it is one of best tools to come out in a long time for Law Enforcement. They showed several videos where four and five officers could not control a suspect because of his level of intoxication or drugged condition, but with the taser the officers could subdue the suspect.

On Wednesday, October 8, 2008, Detective Robert Jones of the Division of Criminal Investigations received information from the Division of Child Services concerning an ad that was placed in the Rollanet Classified section of person(s) unknown offering a baby boy to a good home. Det. Jones reviewed the ad then opened an investigation that involved the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Springfield Police Department and the Division of Child Services. Investigation revealed that the ad was a hoax that had originated in south Africa. We receive several complaints each week on a wide variety of internet based scams or false amber alerts that people in the community have received. Several of these scams have been investigated and the perpetrator’s identified but there are still many others still active. Typically if an offer seems to good to be true, it is a scam. Be wary of people offering services or goods for little or nothing, or organizations requesting personal information so they can forward large amounts of cash. These types of scams are the most frequent and in spite of the obvious signs that this is a hoax, people still fall prey to them. If you are concerned of an offer or service that appears suspect it is better to be safe than sorry and to go with a business or service you are familiar with.

Did you know that most crimes committed against the elderly are "transient crimes," meaning that many involve home repairs or diversions where a person requests to come into the home to use the bathroom or ask for a glass of water? Another such crime committed against the elderly is to "check out" an unreported problem. Your elderly parents need your help to protect themselves. They forget because of their age all the important safety tips they taught you as a child. Now it is your turn to help your elderly parents who are particularly vulnerable to be a victim of transient crimes.
Your parents may be eager to socialize with strangers because they do not get out and socialize like they once did, remind them not to speak to strangers. I would also suggest to tell them not to talk to by anything from someone who knocks on their door or sells anything over the phone. Call or stop in to see your parents more often to give them company. If this is not possible ask a neighbor to stop in once a day just to check on your parents. Because your parents are eager to please and be helpful, they is particularly prone to allowing anyone into the house to check out an undisclosed problem, use the telephone or get a glass of water. Tell your parents that unless they have called someone for a repair, not to open the door. Explain that since they are elderly, once inside the home, a person can easily intimidate and influence them. Pride is another issue with elderly parents. Because they know they can't make needed repairs and fears losing independence, they may think that family members will believe that they are unable to maintain their home. This makes them prone to the transient scam of driveway, roof and other home repairs. Ask neighbors to contact the police immediately if they see something like this happening. Warn your parents not to sign anything. When confronted by someone who wants them to sign a bogus check or contract, tell your parent to say, "I have to ask my son first." If the person trying to get the check signed or contract is in a hurry, point out to your parents that this would be a perfect sign that this is a scam.

If you live out of town, ask a trusted neighbor to check on your parents once a day and to keep watch of who stops at the house. Offer to pay this neighbor and give them your home, work and cell phone number. This will connect you with your elderly parents in the event of a scam emergency.

Many criminals know exactly when government checks arrive each month, and may pick that day to attack. Avoid this by using Direct Deposit, which sends your money directly from the government to the bank of your choice. And, at many banks, free checking accounts are available to senior citizens. Your bank has all the information. Never withdraw money from your bank accounts for anyone except YOURSELF. Be wary of con artists and get-rich schemes that probably are too-good-to-be- true. You should store valuables in a Safe Deposit Box. Never give your money to someone who calls on you, identifying himself as a bank official. A bank will never ask you to remove your money. If you have been swindled or conned, report the crime to the Rolla Police Department or your local police.

From our Communications Division I would like to welcome Jerrie Thomen who has accepted a position as telecommunicator. Ms. Thomen comes to us from lengthy career in emergency service dispatch in the St. Louis County area. Jerri was employed as a dispatcher with the South County Fire Alarm Company in St. Louis, Missouri where her duties included handling emergency calls and dispatching appropriate emergency responders for 11 different fire districts in St. Louis, County. Jerrie enrolled in the St. Louis County Police Academy where she attended classes to become a certified police officer and served as a reserve officer with the Kirkwood, Missouri Police Department. Jerrie’s hobbies include attending dog shows where she shows her American Bouvier breed dogs. Welcome aboard Jerri!

A sad event occurred last night, I received a call at about 1:00 am that there was a fatality accident on Forum drive by the Rolla Public School bus barn. The vehicle drove off the right side of the road through the grass and over a ditch, one occupant was dead at the scene and the other was flown to a hospital in Columbia in critical condition. This is always a sad occurrence that effects so many, both were Missouri S & T students, we are still investigating the accident, next of kin have been notified.

When we judge or criticize another person, it says nothing about that person; it merely says something about our own need to be critical

Thank you and make it a wonderful weekend.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

City Talk - Rolla area continues to top "Best of Lists"

One of the positive aspects of living in an area of the country that has a high quality of life with a diversified economy, clean air, scenic landscapes, and over one million acres of national forest is that we are frequently included on the “Best of Lists” in many publications, national surveys and research polls.

And I’m pleased to report that after months of extensive research, Outdoor Life magazine has included Rolla, Missouri in a list among the top 200 towns for hunting and fishing in America.

Rolla, which is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, including thousands of acres of parkland, reserves, conservation areas, and pristine trout-filled rivers, was ranked number #74 and included among such cities as Durango, Colorado; Grand Junction, Colorado; Grants Pass, Oregon; Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Fairbanks, Alaska; Flagstaff, Arizona; and Helena, Montana. Mountain Home, Arkansas topped the list at number one, followed by Lewiston, Idaho (#2) and Sheridan, Wyoming in the number 3 slot. Other Missouri cities that made the list include: Boonville (#22), Kirksville, (#53), Springfield (#129) and West Plains (#151).

The Outdoor Life Website at says that the Top 200 list is about moving to “places where life seems simpler, the people friendlier and where the economy is nourished by postcard-perfect vistas.” Many of us living here in Rolla have known this to be true for a long time, but it’s always nice to know when a reputable and well known magazine such as Outdoor Life writes about it and better yet, tells the world about it.

The Website article goes on to state that “Outdoor Life has evaluated towns across America to find the places that offer world-class hunting and fishing, easy access to public land and water and vibrant economies that remain affordable and hospitable.” I have always believed that Rolla’s location in the middle of the Mark Twain National Forest and the foothills to the Ozarks is something many of us take for granted. Maybe that’s why magazines like Outdoor Life and the many other market research companies who continue to rank Rolla as one of the best places to live in America do us all a big favor by reminding us how fortunate we truly are to be living here.

In closing I’d like to mention that the City of Rolla has been doing a little bit of informal polling of sorts of its own by creating a BLOG on the City’s Website at We began using the BLOG about six months ago as a communications tool to offer residents and members of the community an opportunity to comment and provide input about the proposed Rolla West Master Plan. I’m pleased to say that we have, and continue to receive, numerous positive and constructive comments regarding the Rolla West Master Plan.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Police Chief Chat - October 3, 2008

Good morning, it’s been a beautiful week and I hope it stays that way because on Saturday October 25th, 2008 you all are invited to a bicycle and surplus property auction held at the Rolla Police Department located at 1007 North Elm Street starting at 9:00AM. Items included in this auction will be approximately 90 bicycles of all sizes from children’s to adults and a variety of other miscellaneous items. Things usually go for a pretty fair price, so if you need a bicycle here’s the place to get one. The bidding will begin at 9:00 AM. Interested buyers should be at the Rolla Police Department by 8:30AM to obtain a bidding card (must show photo i.d.).

The Rolla Police Department, has received a grant for $14,150.00 from the Missouri Department of Transportation Highway Safety Division to fund overtime projects targeting speed violations by motorists during the 2009 fiscal year. The grant money includes the purchase of several new radar units for patrol cars to effectively enforce the local speed limits.

At the Rolla Police Department, we take traffic safety very seriously and as of late, this has become a major concern of our citizens based on the amount of citizen complaints we have received. Our intent and goal is to identify and take enforcement action against drivers on our roadways that are posing a hazard to the other motorists and pedestrians in the area. Excessive speed is a factor in many motor vehicle accidents that are investigated in Rolla. Besides impairment, speeding is the most preventable driving action motorists can do to avoid accidents. We want to enforce our speed laws by using all available tools at our disposal, this includes using radar units.

Excessive speed remains a major factor in car crashes in Missouri. In 2006, there were a total of 87,708 traffic crashes reported in Missouri. Of those, 1,590 involved excessive speed playing a contributing role in having caused the crash. Of those 1,590 crashes, 98 people in Missouri were killed. Enforcement efforts like this one help to make travel in Rolla and other areas of Missouri safer. Any questions about this activity can be directed to our traffic supervisor CPL Harry Eckman at the Rolla Police Department at 573-364-1213.

When a 911 line rings, dispatchers have to be prepared for whatever the emergency is on the other line. Here is a brief sample of the responses our dispatchers have heard this past week when we asked that magic question …. “911 What is your emergency?” . “ My girlfriend is not breathing.” “My son’s overdosed and is not breathing.” “ There is a truck rolled over on the interstate” “Some guy tried to run over me.” “I am locked out of my apartment and my 1 year old child is inside.” “ I need help. I have been stealing my mother’s medication.” “There is a strong smell of propane in the area.” “ My neighbor’s stereo is shaking the walls.” “Someone threatened me with a gun.” “There is a man and woman in the street screaming and throwing things.” “There are 2 little kids playing out in the parking lot with no parents around.” “There is a car on fire by St. Patrick’s Church” “Someone busted my mail box” “I think I am having a heart attack” “Someone stole my medication.” “There is a strange truck parked in front of my house.” “My friend got attacked.” “ There is someone looking in cars.” “There are a bunch of sheep near the highway.” “There is a raccoon in my yard acting strange.” “This truck almost ran me off the road.” “There is a woman outside yelling and screaming.” “There is a 2 year old having a seizure.” “Someone is trying to break into my apartment.” Whatever the problem, be it emergency or non-emergency, dispatchers must always be ready to assist our callers. We are blessed to have a very capable and conscientious crew in our communications center and I want to commend them for being the unsung heroes behind the scene of every emergency. Thank you, you are appreciated.

911 Telecommunicators are often the unsung heroes working diligently behind the scenes of any emergency to ensure that everything runs smoothly. The telecommunicators at the Rolla Police Department answer 911 lines for the entire county along with non-emergency lines for Rolla Police, St. James Police Department and the Phelps County Sherriff’s Department. We dispatch for 14 agencies including 5 law enforcement agencies, 7 fire departments and 2 ambulance companies. To put that in perspective…. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, dispatchers coordinate response to nearly every single emergency in Phelps County. They are responsible for the safety of the men and women we dispatch for, our 39,000 citizens and all of the people who travel through our 674 square miles every day.

The Rolla Police Department would like to thank Janessa Martin. Janessa is a former telecommunicator and is currently a Rolla Police Explorer. She was gracious enough to come back and help out in the Communications Division this summer. Our 911 center has been 3 dispatchers short and Janessa worked part-time to help us cover shifts over the summer. We really appreciated having her back in the Communications Center. She enabled us to allow dispatchers to take some much needed time off this summer with their families without leaving the division too short handed. Janessa is expecting her first child later this month. Though we will miss her at the Rolla Police Department, we are excited for her and her husband Josh Martin. We wish them the very best.

Communications Supervisor Stacey Smith and Telecommunicator Amanda Rogers attended the Russell House Volunteer Training earlier this week. We try to speak to all Russell House volunteers to help give them an idea of how the 911 system works and what will happen when officers arrive on the scene of a domestic call. Unfortunately, domestic violence is a very prevalent problem in our society. We value the role that the Russell House provides in our community by providing resources and a safe haven to victims of abuse.

I just thought this might be of interest to some of you to know that the Probation and Parole office here in Rolla which is the District 11 Office routinely supervises 1,800 plus clients for the five county areas of Phelps, Pulaski, Maries, Dent and Crawford. The Phelps County area accounts for 801 clients supervised at all levels, 32 of which are supervised on the Sex Offender Case Load. That’s almost a thousand people in Phelps county that are on probation or parole for some type of crime. I’m sure it’s a hard job supervising that many people, it’s hard to believe we have that many that are being supervised on law violations such as murder, rape, child molestations, burglary and the list goes on. My hat goes off to P & P for the job they do.

The Department has just received some free publications from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children thanks to Telecomunicator supervisor Stacey Smith. Most of the publications are geared towards citizens but there are some additional ones for law enforcement, there is a Law Enforcement Guide to Case Investigation and Program Management to assist the officers. Here is a list of some of the citizen publications, if you need any of these stop by and get a copy. Child Protection, Just in Case - Choosing Daycare, Just in Case - Family Separation, Just in Case - Federal Parent Locator Service, Exploited Children Service, Know the Rules - Door to Door Solicitation, Just in Case - Child Care Provider, Preventing Sexual Exploitation, Know the Rules - After School Safety, Just in Case – Runaway, Child Victim Identification Program, Keeping Kids Safer on the Internet, Just in Case Sexual Exploitation, New Neighborhood Safety Tips, Just in Case- Finding Professional Help, Know the Rules - Abduction and kidnapping and several other similar topics.

Everyday we should try to help someone who can’t reciprocate our kindness. Thank you and have a great week.