This past week, the Rolla Police Department handled 472 calls for service. Of these calls there were: 27 arrests, 18 accidents, 23 traffic complaints, 78 traffic stops, 24 disturbance calls (including domestics), 22 follow up investigations, 6 suspicious nature calls, 16 assists of other agencies, 33 911 hang up calls, 11 check the well being requests, 13 stealing calls, 7 telephone harassments and 5 trespassing calls. This call total is down from 108 calls from last week, yet still a busy week!
With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, this week was a time to give thanks for the many blessings we have received throughout the year and was also a time to reflect on just how fortunate as Americans, Missourians and citizens of Rolla, we really are. Those of us in this community are extremely fortunate for many reasons such as clean healthy air, a strong economy, an affordable way of life and good quality schools, hospitals, and churches. Community oriented civic groups are plentiful and support our community in many different ways. We are spared long lines in grocery stores and fuel stops, continuous traffic congestion, air pollution and the unhealthy hustle and bustle of big city life. I still like to think that we live in a friendly close knit community where citizens care for one another and work together to make the community a great place to raise our families.
From a law enforcement perspective, I feel we are very fortunate in that Rolla is home to several great Federal, State, County and City based law enforcement entities with a combined list of services, programs and resources second to none. We begin with our local office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The local FBI office here in Rolla is a satellite office from the St. Louis branch and consists of 2 resident Special Agents Pat Cunningham and Mike Maruschak, who are assigned to investigate all federal level complaints. These agents are also quick to assist State, County and local authorities on major crimes such as bank robberies, kidnappings and many white collar crimes. An interesting note is that Pat Cunningham’s father, Dave Cunningham served as the sole Special Agent here in Rolla for several years before retirement.
Next in line would be the Law Enforcement branch of the U.S. Forest Service based here in Rolla. Officers from this agency patrol federal forest land and investigate complaints based on violations occurring in the Mark Twain National Forest. These agents also assist State, County and City agencies in marijuana eradication and other illegal drug activites.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol has 8 Troops positioned throughout the state and Rolla is home to Troop I. This local troop is staffed by men and women of the MSHP who patrol our highways and secondary roads ensuring motorist safety. Troop I is commanded by Capt. Leann Kenley, who began her career with the Rolla Police Department. Cpt. Kenley has a background in illegal narcotics investigation. In addition to road patrol, Troop I’s Criminal Investigation unit investigates major crimes in the entire troop area. They are also quick to assist County and City agencies with local investigations.
The Phelps County Sheriff’s Department also calls Rolla home as Rolla is the County seat. Sheriff Rick Lisenbe and his crew patrol all county roads and conduct investigations in all areas of the county not covered by a municipal law enforcement agencies, although they are quick to assist any municipal agency with major investigations. In addition, the Sheriff’s Department is responsible for civil process service, jail administration, courtroom security and many other tasks.
Missouri S&T Police with Chief Christine Laughlin at the helm patrols campus properties and conducts investigations stemming from university related complaints. In addition MS&T officers provide security at sporting events, assist with student registration and parking issues and are also quick to assist county and local law enforcement in special assignments at investigative requests. In addition, MS&T officers are commissioned police officers with the City of Rolla and have authority to enforce any and all municipal ordinances.
Rolla, St. James, Newburg and Doolittle and Edgar Springs Police Departments are tasked as the primary law enforcement agency within their municipal jurisdictions. These duties include, traffic enforcement, criminal investigations, community policing and service, as well as many other tasks. St. James Police Chief Jim Anderson and his team keep crime in check in St. James. Newburg Police Chief Kim Elrod and Doolittle Police Chief Scott Jones work to keep their joining communities safe through the creative use of a small full time force enhanced with an active reserve unit. Edgar Springs Police Chief Kody Lucas uses a similar operations plan within their city.
Then finally, last but certainly not least is the Phelps County Regional Medical Center’s Department of Public Safety. Director Rick Hanrahan and his crew are tasked with hospital security, employee safety, criminal investigations and on-site patrol. Currently most Public Safety Officers are commissioned police officers with local area jurisdictions.
All in all, you can see that the Rolla community has a lot to be thankful for. Speaking for the Rolla Police Department we are very fortunate to have the added safety of these fine professional law enforcement agencies right here in our community. Their willingness and commitment to assist, the added benefit of the additional resources, combined with the comradery and respect of each agency just makes our job that much easier. Coupled with the support of a progressive and pro-active city council and you the people of the community, we will work together to keep the Rolla community the great place it is to live work and worship.
Have a safe and happy holiday!
Chief Mark Kearse
Rolla Police Department
1007 N. Elm St,
Rolla, Mo. 65401