This week’s winner of the “Employee of the Week” nomination by our FaceBook fans is none other than records clerk, Christy Ford! Christy was born in Lindsay, California and moved to Missouri in 1989. She graduated from Rolla High School in 1994 and has been married to her husband Jason for 13 years Together they have a lovely daughter named Faith. The Ford family enjoys raising and showing cattle and horses and rodeos in the summer. Christy has been with the Rolla Police Department for almost a year and enjoys the employee comradery and considers this a great place to work. Congratulations Christy on your nomination for “Employee of the Week”!
Our featured Central Communications spotlight will focus on 9-1-1 Telecommunicator Alicia Hill. Alicia was born and raised in Independence, Missouri where she met her husband of 10 years, Alan. Together they have 3 children and ended up in Rolla after Alan accepted a position with Rolla Fire and Rescue 3 years ago. Alicia applied and was hired as a telecommunicator. Alicia says, “I applied at the police department, not knowing what to expect, but I am very happy that I was offered and accepted the position as a 9-1-1 Telecommunicator. I have made many new friends and enjoy working with everyone. I have learned so much about this job and that not every day is the same. In addition, I have learned a lot about myself”! Alicia and her family enjoy watching TV, playing X-Box and Wii and fishing or just hanging out! Thanks for all you do Alicia and Alan too!
This next segment of the column is not a regularly featured spotlight, nor has the person we are about to describe been nominated for “Employee of the Week”, but just someone we thought you might like to hear about, Sgt. Wayne Rapier! Throughout the year Sgt. Wayne Rapier works very hard to keep our young people safe. He is the only School Resource Officer for the Rolla Public Schools. There are approximately 4, 000 students and 580 school staff members that Sgt. Rapier serves. What does a school resource officer do? We can’t fit it all in this post! To start with though, any police report of an incident that occurs on school property is investigated by Sgt. Rapier. This could be a “fender bender” in a parking lot, a missing cell phone belonging to a student, an altercation between juveniles or vandalism. He does not just patrol schools and investigate crimes though. He works with staff and administrators to develop and implement safety procedures. He also oversees security at school dances and high school sporting events.
Not all of his investigations are for crimes on campus. Sgt. Rapier works very hard to protect our young people off of campus as well. He handles narcotics investigations, reports of child abuse, internet crimes, missing juveniles, sexual assaults, custody disputes, domestic violence and mental health investigations. Sgt. Rapier is also a trained hostage negotiator. It takes a very special person to be able to be an effective School Resource Officer. It requires a perfect mix of compassion, toughness, patience, wisdom, inquisitiveness ,training, more training, determination, awareness, law enforcement experience, parenting experience, sense of humor and of course a Bulldog spirit! We truly appreciate all you do Sgt. Rapier! Thanks for all you do to keep our young people safe!
In line with "Operation F.R.I.E.N.D. (forming relationships in every neighborhood), and our effort to re-kindle interest in our Neighborhood Watch program, we have sectioned the city into 3 equal watch zones. In the very near future we will coordinate group meetings in each zone to discuss crime prevention, the establishment of Community Emergency Response Teams(CERT) and Neighborhood Watch. Currently most areas of the city are covered under an organized Neighborhood Watch group. Signs have been posted and officers have visited with the groups and explained the Neighborhood Watch program. If your neighborhood is not currently active in this program and you would like to learn more, contact S/Sgt. Rick Williams at the Rolla Police Department at 308-1213. We will announce dates and locations of the group meetings in the near future.
This Spring the Rolla Police Department and Rolla Fire and Rescue will be hosting Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training. If available, emergency services personnel are the best trained and best equipped to handle emergencies and you should use them. However, following a catastrophic disaster, you and the community may be on your own for a period of time because of the size of the area affected, lost communications or unpassable roads. This is where CERT comes in! CERT training is designed to prepare you to help yourself, your family and your neighbors in the event of a catastrophic disaster. Because emergency services personnel will not be able to help everyone immediately, you can make a difference by using the training provided in this program to save lives and protect property. Training covers areas such as: Disaster Preparedness, Fire Safety, Disaster Medical Operations, Light Search and Rescue, the Cert Organization, Disaster Psychology and Terrorism. CERT classes are taught by trained emergency personnel and consists of 20 hours of training which includes classroom segments and actual hands on practice.
If you would like to receive the training or would like to learn more about the CERT program, contact: S/Sgt. Rick Williams at 308-1213 or Training Officer Ron Smith at Rolla Fire and Rescue at 364-3989.
Have a great week!
Chief Mark Kearse