Friday, January 15, 2010

Police Chief Chat

I hope you had a great week and were able to avoid any weather related mishaps or extreme cold temperature situations. Our patrol division reported a modest decrease in weather related traffic crashes which reflects directly on the community exercising caution during extreme weather conditions. With weather related traffic crashes in mind, I would like to share with you, an email sent to me from Communications Supervisor Paula Volkmer addressing a 9-1-1 call received from an individual involved in a traffic crash and how the call was handled by the 9-1-1 Dispatch Center. Paula writes:

Yesterday at 0836 we took a cell 911 call from a gentlemen that had been involved in an accident while traveling from Rolla to St. Robert. He thought he could see the interstate, but had no idea where he was or when he had the accident, except that he had been on his way home the night before. (His wife had called the PD earlier inquiring if we had had any contact with him, that he had been expected home last night around midnight). He was laying across his pickup truck seat, unable to move, believed he had two broken legs, bleeding from the ear and was in the trees. His horn didn’t work so there was no way for him to signal to passing motorists. He was unable to describe anything he had last seen and just said he had gotten lost. The dispatcher was able to use the coordinates from his cell phone (info we didn’t have till this past year) and from the time the phone rang to the time the ambulance crew was speaking to him at the vehicle was 22 minutes. The coordinates were within 7/10’s of a mile (coordinates pinpointed 170.8 and he was located at the 170.1).

Paula continues: I just wanted to say “Good Job” regarding your cell 911 call Monday morning. Alicia, you did a great job staying with your caller, getting the little information he could provide, assuring him help was on the way and obviously most importantly navigating the computer system to FIND your caller. Tabitha and Amy, this had to be a group effort, getting responders on the way, calling his wife and trying to direct responders to coordinates for a vehicle that was over an embankment, that obviously hadn’t been seen since he went over the edge the night before.

I too would like to echo Paula’s thoughts and commend telecommunicators Alicia Hill, Tabitha Stanley and Amy King on a job well done. Needless to say, I am very proud of our Central Dispatch staff and realize how fortunate we the citizens of this community are, to have such a resourceful group of professionals, dedicated to keeping our community safe! Great job and thanks for all you do!

This past week, we have added 2 new volunteers to our Volunteers in Police Services (VIPS) Program. The volunteers are former Rolla Fire and Rescue Fire Marshall Larry Seest and Rolla area Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine Keith Peterson. Larry Seest comes to us after serving over 30 years with Rolla Fire and Rescue and also served as a reserve Deputy Sheriff with the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department. Larry has an extensive background in public service and will be a valuable asset to our VIPS team. Larry will be providing school and neighborhood patrols, assisting with special events and participating in our many public relations programs. Welcome aboard Larry!

Keith Peterson and his wife Diane are the owner’s of Peterson Chiropractic and Acupuncture Clinic in Rolla. Keith enjoys weightlifting, indoor cycling and just about any type of physical activity. Keith too will be a valuable asset to our VIPS team and will be providing school and neighborhood patrols, assisting with special events and participating in our many public relations programs. Welcome aboard Keith!

As you may already know, our Volunteers in Police Service Program is off to a great start. At the present time we now have 9 volunteers assigned to the VIPS unit. These volunteers are quality folks from right here in our community, who realized that they had something to offer to their Police Department and to their community and have proudly joined our ranks. Beginning next week, I will introduce you to each one of our volunteers by featuring a brief biographical summary and photo so you will know them when you see them in your neighborhoods. Our volunteers perform a very valuable service to our agency and we truly appreciate their efforts. If you are interested in learning more about the VIPS program, contact our VIPS Director Dennis Noel, or VIPS Coordinator Vince Giacolone at 308-1213.

On Sunday, January 10, 2010, Patrol Officer Leann Robertson received information through Crimestoppers, that a wanted person was walking somewhere between Steeplechase Drive and the Lee’s Chicken restaurant in Rolla. Officer Robertson checked the area and located an individual matching the description of the suspect walking near the Forum area on Hauck Drive. Officer Robertson contacted the suspect who denied his true identity and provided identification of an attorney from Festus, Missouri. Sgt. Jeremy Martens and Cpl. Tim Mayfield arrived on the scene to assist Robertson and also provided a photo of the wanted suspect. The photo matched the suspect and he was placed under arrest and incarcerated in the Phelps County Jail. Investigation revealed that the false identification provided by the suspect was actually stolen from the victim’s vehicle in Festus, Missouri. Good job to Robertson, Martens and Mayfield in locating this wanted person and getting him off the streets of Rolla.

In closing, I want to remind you to check our Facebook site for upcoming events, top news stories and severe weather information. Also be sure to sign up to receive information first hand from out Rolla Police Department Twitter site.

Have a great week!

Chief Mark Kearse

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