Friday, April 29, 2011

Police Chief Chat

This past week, the Rolla Police Department handled 706 calls for service. 308 of these calls were initiated by an officer and 398 were calls generated by a request for service. There were: 22 arrests, 23 alarms, 8 accidents, 39 traffic complaints, 70 traffic stops, 26 disturbance (including domestics), 13 suspicious nature, 27 assists of other agencies, 10 escorts, 12 public relations contacts, 28 security checks and 38 animal control calls. This call total is down 18 calls from last week, but yet another busy week!

On Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at approximately 1:30 p.m., Animal Control Supervisor John Redshaw received a report from Central Dispatch of 2 animals struck by a train near Schuman Park and that one of the animals may still be alive. While John was investigating this call he observed what appeared to be a juvenile male running from the reported area the dogs were struck. While attempting to locate the animals, John made contact with an unidentified woman and 2 children in the area of the old locomotive at Schuman Park. The family was sitting along the bank of the tracks and John asked them if they had seen 2 animals near the tracks. The woman stated that she had not seen the animals, but a short time before John’s arrival, a white male approached her and told her there were 2 animals on the track that had been hit by a train, and that 1 of the animals was still alive. John stated that the woman told him that the male had approached her from the south and continued northbound along the tracks.

After speaking with the woman, John recalled seeing a young male running northbound from the area when he first responded to the call. John wondered if the male was involved in the incident or just happened to be running through the area. John walked south along the tracks and located the 2 animals near the intersection of 13th St. 1 of the animals had died and the 2nd animal was still alive but in bad shape. The animals were retrieved from the railroad tracks and the surviving animal was euthanized due to the severe injuries. ACS Redshaw launched an investigation into the matter as he was unsure whether the animals had attempted to cross the tracks on their own and were struck by the passing train, or were they incapacitated by someone and laid on the tracks. This concern stemmed from the position the animals were found and their injuries, compared to other cases where animals were struck by a train.

ACS Redshaw stated that while driving in the area on the incident, he observed a white van occupied by a driver and one passenger following his ACO vehicle. John noticed that the passenger in the van resembled the male he had observed earlier, running from the area where the animals were found. John tried to get the license plate number from the van but was only able to identify the first 3 characters of the plate which were described as HD7- _ _ _. John stated that the van pulled into the lot of the Phillip’s 66 Convenience store at Bishop and Cedar, where the driver of the van entered the store. John attempted to go around the block to get a better view of the van, but by time he made it around the block, the van was gone. John forwarded the information on the 2 males and the white van as possible suspect information to Central Dispatch and to the Patrol Division to assist in attempting to locate them. John also made contact with investigators with the Burlington-Northern railroad and requested that the crew on that particular train be interviewed as to what they may have seen as they passed through Rolla.

On Thursday evening, Telecommunicator Suzanne Vogeler ran the partial license number from the van through our M.U.L.E.S. computer program and was able to locate the van and also the owner’s name and address. On Friday morning, S/Sgt. Rick Williams and ACS Redshaw drove to the address and ACS Redshaw positively identified the van as the same he had seen on Tuesday. The driver and passenger in the van that day were identified, interviewed and cleared of involvement. Also on Friday, S/Sgt. Williams received a call from the investigator at Burlington-Northern. The investigator had identified the train and made contact with the engineer on the lead engine and determined that the train was a westbound coal hauler that had been re-routed through Rolla due to the heavy flooding in southeast Missouri. The engineer did recall passing through Rolla on Tuesday at approximately 12:15 p.m. and did recall striking a small dog that was running westbound between the rails of the track near the 12th Street crossing. The engineer stated that the train did strike and kill the animal. The engineer also stated that there were people in the area but that there was no one in the vicinity on railroad property when the animal was struck. We also learned that the lead engine in this incident is equipped with video cameras and that the tape for that day will be forwarded to the investigator for his viewing. Therefore this investigation concludes that the incident although unfortunate, was an accident with no foul play involved.

In closing, I would like to include an email sent to me from Pizza Inn Asst. Mgr. Terry Betz. This is normally not the content used in our Chief Chat forum, but it is such a great cause that I decided to include it. Terry writes: On Monday May 2nd Pizza Inn will host a all day buffet fundraiser with 50% of all buffet sales that day going directly to the Light family fund set up at PCB. this fundraiser is made possible through the combined efforts of James Schafer, Manager - Terry Betz Assistant Manager and local resident Tahna Collins (she is the original person that called to set this up) The reason we will be able to give this much is through the combined efforts of our employees and Ms Collins. Pizza inn will operate that evening solely on a volunteer employee basis (no employee working will receive pay) this is to lower our cost and give the maximum amount to a local family in need. All wait staff and additional volunteers will be provided by Ms Collins and volunteers she will be providing. Thank you for taking the time to repost this during your busy day. Along with our efforts KZNN had donated air time to advertise this event to the community through All their stations throughout the next week. I thank everyone in the communty in advance, and hope all will show up. Lets put Rolla on the map and take care of our own.

Have a great week!

Chief Mark Kearse

Thursday, April 28, 2011

City's Mapping Division removes 39 homes and businesses from 100-year floodplain

In an ongoing effort to minimize the impact of flooding on homes and businesses inside the Rolla city limits, the City of Rolla’s Geographic Information Systems, Mapping Division recently revised the City’s mapping system to reflect the new flood limits in the Dutro Carter Creek 100-year flood plain.
   The revision does not affect everyone, but does remove an estimated 39 homes and businesses from the regulatory 100-year floodplain. Approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the revised mapping limits were effective April 19, 2011. The Public Works Department sent notification letters and maps on Jan. 11, 2011 to inform citizens affected by the revision.
   Previous to these revisions, Burgher Branch and its tributaries were revised on Dec. 16, 2009 removing approx. 75 homes from the 100-year floodplain.  Deible Branch was revised effective Feb. 20, 2009, removing approx. 18 homes from the 100-year floodplain. Love Branch was revised effective March 10, 2008, removing all homes from the 100-year floodplain.
  Rolla residents will need to check with their insurance company to see if they qualify to eliminate or reduce any existing flood insurance coverage.
   For more information, please contact David Forshee, the City of Rolla’s Project Coordinator/GIS Administrator, at 426-6957.

Wyman Elementary students tour Rolla City Hall during field trip

Eighty energetic Wyman Elementary School students and their teachers toured Rolla City Hall, the Rolla Public Library, Reader’s Corner and Phelps County Bank on Tuesday, April 26 as part of Wyman’s annual field trip to downtown Rolla.
    During their tour of City Hall four groups of second grade students were greeted by Scott Grahl, Communications Officer, and John Butz, City Administrator, who gave the students an overview of City government and the many services the city provides the residents of Rolla. The students asked a variety of questions while visiting with Mr. Butz and City staff in the Administration, Public Works and Municipal Court Departments.
  The 3rd floor outdoor patio provided a panoramic view of the City’s Downtown Festival Park, including the bandshell, tree-line park, and historic Frisco Caboose picnic area, where such events as Rolla’s Downtown Farmer’s Market, Public Works Celebration Day (May 14) and Rolla’s Sesquicentennial Celebration and Route 66 Summerfest will be held (June 4).
   “City staff always looks forward to hosting City Hall tours with our schools, colleges and universities,” said Butz. “It gives us an opportunity to introduce students to our employees, receive feedback, and show them the many projects and services we are involved with on a daily basis.”
   If your school, college or organization would like to take a tour of Rolla City Hall or other City facilities, please contact Scott Grahl, at 426-6943 or at
John Butz, Rolla City Administrator, (left) answers questions from Second Grade students who attend Wyman Elementary School. The tour was part of an annual field trip to City Hall, Rolla Public Library and Phelps County Bank on April 26.

David Forshee, GIS Supervisor in the City of Rolla’s Public Works Dept., (right) explains how to read and interpret digital mapping with 2nd Grade students from Wyman Elementary School.

Jolene Carson, Administrative Assistant in the City of Rolla’s Public Works Department (left), provides an overview of the Streets, Sewer and Engineer Divisions that make up the department.

Rita Duval, Municipal Court Clerk, (left) and Relauun Smith, Deputy Court Clerk, (right), discuss the many aspects of the Rolla Municipal Court with 2nd Grade students from Wyman Elementary School who were touring Rolla City Hall on April 26.

Monday, April 25, 2011

MAM Honors Brewer Science With Founder’s Award Company Recognized For Its 30 Years In Business

Brewer Science, the discoverer of original solutions for the world’s leading manufacturers of computer chips, sensors, MEMS, LEDs, displays, and other microelectronic devices, was presented the Founder’s Award from the Missouri Association of Manufacturers (MAM) at the 8th Annual Manufacturing Summit held in Springfield, MO, on April 20, 2011. 

The Founder’s Award, is presented to companies that have been in business at least 30 years, are members of MAM, and are currently in their decadal anniversary cycle.  Brewer Science, founded in 1981, is celebrating its 30th year in business during 2011.

Dr. Terry Brewer, Founder, CEO and President of Brewer Science, accepted the award on behalf of the employees of Brewer Science.  In addition to thanking the employees, he also expressed the need to remain innovative and receptive to change so that businesses can grow and prosper.  He encouraged business leaders to innovate through their people and to build an environment that fosters growth, learning, and commitment in all parts of the business.  

Other businesses presented Founder’s Awards at the 8th Annual Manufacturing Summit were Leo Journagan Construction Co., Inc., located in Springfield, Hollister & Ozark; Burr King Manufacturing Co., Inc., located in Warsaw; and Lockwood Farmers Exchange, located in Lockwood. 

About Brewer Science
For 30 years, Brewer Science has consistently developed and delivered innovative materials, processes, and equipment for applications in semiconductors, advanced packaging/3-D ICs, MEMS, displays, LEDs, and printed electronics. Our products include ARC® anti-reflective coatings, ProTEK® protective coatings, WaferBOND® temporary bonding coatings, the ZoneBOND™ thin wafer processing system, OptiNDEX™ high refractive index materials, OptiStack® multilayer lithography systems, CNTRENE® carbon nanotube solutions, and Cee® laboratory-scale wafer processing equipment. We invite you to learn more about Brewer Science at

For more information, please contact:            
M. Loretta Wallis
Corporate Relations Manager
Brewer Science, Inc.
Tel: (US) +1.573.364.0300, Ext: 1357

Traffic light installed at Bryant Drive/ Kingshighway

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) installed the new traffic light at what will become a new intersection at Kingshighway and the new Bryant Drive Extension that runs parallel to Fairgrounds Chevrolet and the newly constructed McDonald’s restaurant. Once the traffic light is operational within the next few weeks, the traffic light currently located at the intersection of Fairgrounds Road and Kingshighway will be permanently removed.
   The new traffic intersection at Kingshigway and Bryant Drive Extension will serve as one of the main gateways to the developing Missouri S&T Innovation Park that began with its first Technology Development building located on 10th Street. The new intersection will also help to divert heavy traffic from Kingshighway onto Fairgrounds Road and eventually into Innovation Park as it continues to develop. These significant improvements to Kingshighway and the new Bryant Drive extension will greatly enhance traffic flow and safety, and create a more welcoming, attractive appearance for visitors coming off I-44. The improvements will also send a message to future developers, investors and businesses/industries that Rolla is a progressive City planning for its future growth and prosperity.
   The final plans for the new Kohl’s store that will be constructed next to Lowe’s on State Road 63 North is also underway with a projected completion date of late winter/spring of 2012. This new national retail store is sure to enhance not only the retail opportunities in Rolla and surrounding communities, but also secure Rolla’s status as a the regional retail hub for South Central Missouri.
   In closing I’d like to remind everyone that today, Saturday, April 23 the Electronics & Appliance Collection will be held from 8 a.m. to 12-noon in the Brewer Science, Inc. Parking Lot (2401 Brewer Drive, located in Hypoint Industrial Park at the I-44 Exit 189/Highway V). The following items will be accepted FREE of charge: stoves, washers, dryers, microwaves and other appliances. Computer CPUs, keyboards, printers, VCRs, cell phones and other electronics. There will be a fee for TVs: $10 business/$5 residents; and a fee for computer monitors: $5 each. There will be no fee for refrigerant appliances (no material from businesses, please). This event is co-sponsored by the City of Rolla, Phelps County Commission, Brewer Science, Inc., Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District, Missouri Department of Natural Resources and Meramec Regional Planning Commission.
   Also on tap for today, Saturday is Breakfast with the Easter Bunny from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at The Centre (1200 N. Holloway Street). Kids and their families are invited to enjoy a healthy breakfast, try your hand at some Easter egg games/activities, and join a hunt for Easter eggs. The Easter bunny will be at The Centre from 8:30-9:15 a.m.; breakfast served from 8:30-9:15 a.m.; and games/activities/face painting/crafts from 9-9:40 a.m. Children will be separated by age for Egg Hunts at 9:45 a.m. 
   Please remember Rolla is celebrating its 150th Anniversary (Sesquicentennial) all year, and that the Rolla Sesquicentennial T-shirts and commemorative posters are available for purchase ($12 and $2 each) at Rolla City Hall (901 N. Elm Street); The Centre (1200 N. Holloway Street) and the University Book and Supply Store (1107 N. Pine Street). Have a safe week!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Police Chief Chat

This past week, the Rolla Police Department handled 808 calls for service. Of these calls there were: 20 arrests, 13 alarms, 16 accidents, 38 traffic complaints, 163 traffic stops, 27 disturbance (including domestics), 14 suspicious nature, 26 assists of other agencies, 8 narcotics violations, 11 public relations contacts, 26 security checks, 42 animal control calls, 6 mental health calls and 50 follow up investigations. This call total is up 147 calls from last week. With numerous arrests from our Street Crimes and Patrol Divisions, a tragic fire south of town and the arrest of suspects in the Town & Country bank robbery it was yet another busy week!

On Friday, October 8, 2010 at approximately 2:38 pm the Rolla Police Department received a 911 call indicating that there had just been a robbery at the Town and Country Bank located at 910 South Highway 63 in Rolla. Officers from the Rolla Police Department responded to the scene and determined that a white male had robbed two bank employees while they were filling the ATM machine located outside of the bank near the drive thru area. The suspect knocked one employee down and stole two plastic containers which contained United States currency. The robber left the bank on foot with an unreleased amount of cash. One employee sustained minor injuries during the robbery, the other employee was not injured.

A lengthy investigation into this robbery was conducted by the Rolla Police Department's Division of Criminal Investigations Unit and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. On Monday, April 19, 2011, arrest warrants were issued by Judge Ron White for three suspects connected to this robbery. On Tuesday, April 20, 2011, officers arrested two suspects in the 12000 block of County Road 8070. Arrested were Sara J. Deluca age 22 of Rolla. Sara was one of the two bank employees who were reportedly robbed. Also arrested was Deluca's boyfriend Kevin D. Ellis age 23 of Rolla. Also Tuesday, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department's Fugitive Task Force arrested Sara's brother James M. Deluca age 38 of San Diego, California. All three were arrested for 2nd Degree Robbery and Conspiracy. Each had a bond of $250,000.00. Sara Deluca and Kevin Ellis were later incarcerated in the Phelps County Jail. James Deluca was incarcerated in the San Diego County Jail pending extradition to Missouri. More arrests are anticipated in this case.

Anyone having any information pertaining to this bank robbery is encouraged to call Detective Robert Jones at the Rolla Police Department at (573) 308-1213.The charges for which the above mentioned suspects were arrested are merely accusations and are not evidence of guilt. Evidence in support of the charges must be presented before a court of competent jurisdiction whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence. I would like to congratulate our investigators in the Criminal Investigations Unit and the agents with the FBI office for their patience and diligence in bringing this case to a successful ending.

On Tuesday, April 20, 2011, at approximately 8:21 a.m., Central Communications received multiple 911 calls of a fully involved structure fire in the 14000 block of South U.S. Highway 63. A dual response was initiated and the Rolla Rural Fire Department and the Doolittle Fire Department were dispatched to the scene. Within a few minutes Phelps County Deputies arrived on scene and confirmed that the structure was fully involved. The deputies advised there were several people trapped inside the burning structure and asked for the Rolla City Fire Department to respond to the scene. The three Deputies attempted to make entry into the home, but were unable to do so because of the heavy smoke and fire. Fire units began arriving at 8:33 a.m. and found the structure was fully engulfed and determined that it was not safe for fire personnel to enter the structure. The fire was later brought under control by firefighters from the Rolla City Fire and Rescue, Rolla Rural Fire Department, Doolittle Fire Department and St. James Fire Department. There were four people transported to the Phelps County Regional Medical Center for smoke inhalation, who were treated and released.

As a result, an investigation into the cause of this fire was initiated by the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department, Rolla Rural Fire Department and the Missouri State Fire Marshall’s Office. Although investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the fire, there have been three confirmed fatalities. The identities of those fatally injured are not being released at this time. Despite earlier reports that this residence was a group home, the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department has confirmed that it was a privately owned residence. Our hearts and prayers go out to the family in this tragic time. I would also like to commend the brave men and women of the Fire Service and Law Enforcement for their efforts!

On a lighter note, this past week, we have a changing of the guard in our Parking Control Division. Parking Control Officer Warren Hogan is retiring and will be turning the Cushman trike over to our newest member of the Rolla Police family, Larry Seest. Warren came to us after a lengthy career in law enforcement to include the Crestwood Police Dept. and the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Warren also served a full career in the Missouri National Guard. We enjoyed Warren's service with the Rolla Police Department and wish him well in his 3rd retirement! Larry Seest comes to us after serving 30 years with Rolla Fire and Rescue where he served as Fire Marshall and even filled in as acting Chief. Larry also served as a reserve deputy for the Phelps County Sheriff's Department and is one of our VIPS volunteers. We really hate to see Warren go, but are thrilled to see Larry take the reins. Be sure to say hello to Larry when you see him patrolling the downtown area.

In closing, I would like to remind you that next Thursday, April 28, 2011, in observance of Bicentennial anniversary of the New Madrid Earthquake of 1811, The City of Rolla Office of Emergency Management will be participating in the “2011 Central U.S. Shakeout”. The U.S. Shakeout 2011 is the first year of The Great Central US ShakeOut, a drill designed to educate the public about how to protect themselves during a large earthquake, and how to get prepared. We will be sounding our EWS warning sirens during the event. If you or your family or business would like to participate, simply go to the SEMA website at: then click on the large blue box in the center of the page. This site will allow you to not only register for the event but to also view others who are participating. You may also view a video-clip of students in a Jefferson City School participating in the drill. There is also downloadable manuals available on the site to show you how to participate in this important exercise. If you have any questions contact City of Rolla Emergency Management Director, S/Sgt. Rick Williams at 308-1213.

Have a great week!

Chief Mark Kearse

Monday, April 18, 2011

MoDOT to begin Kingshighway improvements this summer

The Rolla City Council recently approved a City Ordinance with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) that will result in a big improvement along the Kingshighway Interchange with Interstate 44. These improvements, which will begin this summer 2011, will cause some traffic delays and detours due to construction. We will keep you posted regarding exact construction dates and traffic detour information.
   Originally slated for 2012, the project could begin by MoDOT as early as June 2011. These improvements will consist of the installation of two roundabouts, which will greatly improve the capacity and safety of these heavily traveled intersections. The current traffic signals at the Martin Springs Drive intersection will be removed and replaced with a roundabout, and the second roundabout will be located on the north side of the Kingshighway/I-44 overpass. This configuration is commonly referred to as a ‘dog bone’ design because of the location of the roundabouts at both ends of the highway. The estimated cost of these improvements is $1,760,051. The improvements are part of the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan, which will be funded by MoDOT.
   In addition to these improvements, the City of Rolla will be responsible next year, (as MoDOT relinquishes ownership to the City for Kingshighway) for widening Kingshighway from three to five lanes from the Martin Springs Drive/Kingshighway interchange (adjacent to HJ Drive) to the new Bryant Drive/Kingshighway Intersection. This will be done in 2012 and is estimated to cost $250,000.
   Also planned is the relocation of the traffic signal currently at the intersection of Kingshighway and Fairgrounds Road to the intersection of Kingshighway and Bryant Drive by MoDOT. The new signals, which will be funded by MoDOT at an estimated cost of $161,151, are currently being installed in conjunction with the Bryant Drive extension improvements that began last fall.
   Bryant Drive (located next to Pizza Inn and the Sylvan Learning Center), is being extended between the Fairgrounds Auto Dealership and the new McDonald’s Restaurant north to Fairgrounds Road. These improvements will also provide one of the gateway entrances to the new Innovation Park being developed by Missouri S&T. These significant improvements to Kingshighway and the new Bryant Drive extension will greatly enhance traffic flow and safety, and create a more welcoming, attractive appearance for visitors coming off I-44. The improvements will also send a message to future developers, investors and businesses/industries that Rolla is a progressive City planning for its future growth and prosperity.
   Looking toward next week, I would like to remind you of two community events that will be held next Friday, April 22, which happens to be Earth Day. The 10th Annual Rolla Earth Day Celebration will be held Friday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. outside the Missouri S&T Gale Bullman Multi-Purpose Building at 10th Street and State Route 63. Last year, approximately 1,500 children and adults attended the event. This year’s theme is:  Live Green, Love Green, Think Green. The Rolla Earth Day Celebration is a free event that includes children’s activities, educational exhibits, live music, a fashion show with items made from recycled materials, and more. The event will take place rain or shine. For more information, please contact Julie Wilson at 341-4262 or
   Also scheduled for Friday, April 22 is the Healthy Yards For Clear Streams FREE seminar that will be held at The Centre (1200 N. Holloway Street) from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Join us for this free program! No registration is necessary! The Healthy Yards for Clear Streams program is an educational effort to help landowners and businesses become more environmentally responsible with lawn landscape practices. This year's program is your Earth Day connection!
   And remember that the Rolla Sesquicentennial T-shirts and commemorative posters are available for purchase ($12 and $2 each) at Rolla City Hall (901 N. Elm Street); The Centre (1200 N. Holloway Street) and the University Book and Supply Store (1107 N. Pine Street).
  Have a safe week!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Memorial Day Service set for May 30 in Rolla

A Memorial Day Service will be held on Monday, May 30 at 10 a.m. in Veterans Memorial Park (Southview Drive) in Rolla, Missouri. Organizations are encouraged to participate with the services by presenting a memorial wreath during the program.

Anyone interested in participating should contact Event Coordinator Jerry Bumpus at 573-647-7601 or The entire community is invited to attend. 

Police Chief Chat

This past week, the Rolla Police Department handled handled 724 calls for service. Of these calls there were: 14 arrests, 9 alarms, 27 accidents, 39 traffic complaints, 84 traffic stops, 22 disturbance (including domestics), 17 check well being, 13 suspicious nature, 24 assists of other agencies, 1 malicious mischief,26 animal control, 17 stealing, 7 escort, 2 assault reports and 3 littering complaints. This call total is up 63 calls from last week to include a church fire, an apparent suicide, multiple search warrants and several meth and heroin arrests! Yet another busy week!

On Monday, April 10, 2011 Mayor Bill Jenks visited the Rolla Police Department and presented a Letter of Appreciation to our newly formed Street Crimes Unit. The Street Crimes Unit consists of Senior Patrol Officer Luke Kearse and Senior Patrol Officer Josh Campbell. The unit was formed in January 2011 and has made a great impact in ...the area of drug enforcement and crime fighting. Officers Kearse and Campbell have been extremely successful in combating illegal drugs such as methamphetamine and heroin and have made several arrests in targeted high crime areas. Their hard work, dedication and innovative tactics have proved very successful in clearing our streets of drug dealing criminals. The Street Crimes Unit works closely with our Patrol Division, our Criminal Investigation Unit, the Mayors Community Action Team and the South Central Drug Task Force in a concerted effort to keep the community safe.

This past week was a bit crowded with dedications in that it was National Volunteer Week, National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week and Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week. For National Volunteer Week it is fitting that we thank the greatest, most dedicated group of volunteers that you could find anywhere—our Volunteers In Police Services! The folks who volunteer their time in our VIPS program, have given RPD and the citizens of Rolla thousands of hours of their personal time and they do so without ever looking for thanks or a pat on the back. They are the best, and we are grateful for their devoted and enthusiastic service. Again, THANK YOU VIPS!

For National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week we pay homage to the men and women in our Central Dispatch Division who like other telecommunicators across the country, every day, every hour, in communities large and small, dedicated public safety telecommunicators sit waiting to answer your calls. They are professional men and women, trained to remain calm when everything seems to be falling apart. They gather information from callers; prioritize the requests and then dispatch the appropriate police, fire or medical personnel (or sometimes all three!) to assist. This may sound simple enough, except that most of their callers are people in crisis; a crying parent, a petrified child, an apathetic neighbor or a belligerent abuser. Communicators must be on constant alert; every phone call is an opportunity to ride the emotional roller coaster, from parking complaints to an infant not breathing. In 1992 U.S. Congress declared the second week of April as National Telecommunicator Week. This week affords us the opportunity to say “Thank you” to these hard working, dedicated, multi-talented public servants. Communicators are a vital link within our community and are essential to the mission of public safety, although rarely appreciated because they are not physically at the scene. This week we would like to show our gratitude to these people who work behind the scenes to keep the citizens of our community safe.

This week is also Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week as proclaimed by the National Animal Control Association. NACA and the Rolla Police Department would like to show our appreciation and give recognition to the hard working men and women in our Animal Control Division who risk their lives and spend huge amounts of personnel resources, including time away from family and friends while serving the community. Take time this week to stop by our shelter and say hello to our ACO's! Congratulations to all the men and women in each of these fine divisions. You are truly appreciated!

On Thursday, April 14, 2011, the Rolla Police Department and the Phelps County Anti-Drug Committee teamed up and launched the “”Not in my Neighborhood” campaign where yard signs were handed out to members of the community who feel strongly about taking back their neighborhoods and sending a strong message that crime and illegal drug activity will be reported. The Rolla Public Schools allowed us to infiltrate the long line of parents delivering the children to school on Thursday to pass out the yard signs. I am proud to say that every sign we had available was taken and we even had to re-stock some signs for those that were unable to pick theirs up at the schools. We do want to apologize for the extra time spent dropping off your students, but we thought this opportunity would be a great way to get the signs to the community. My wife Dee and I were assigned Truman Elementary School as our distribution point where we were met with enthusiasm and support. Thank you for helping us launch this great campaign.

Sadly, on Thursday night at approximately 10:10 p.m., Central Communications received a 911 call regarding a subject who reportedly jumped off of the US 63 overpass of I-44 and was struck by westbound I-44 traffic. Responding law enforcement located a male subject in the roadway who was deceased. The victim was identified as Erick Cummings age 18 of Cole Camp, MO who resided in Rolla while attending school. Erick Cummings’ next of kin has been notified. The circumstances surrounding the death are being investigated by the Rolla Police Department’s Division of Criminal Investigations and the Phelps County Coroner’s Office. If you have additional information pertaining to this case please call Detective Ken Nakanishi at the Rolla Police Department at (573) 308-1213 or the Rolla Police Department’s confidential tip hotline at (573) 364-0111. Our prayers go out to this young man and to his friends and family.

This past week we had the opportunity to meet newly appointed Ward 2 Councilman Greg Sawyer. Mr. Sawyer stopped in to introduce himself and to make a donation to the Behind the Badge Organization. While he was here he took a tour of the building and met with several members of our RPD team. Thanks for stopping by and special thanks for the donation.

In closing, Thursday night I accompanied the Street Crimes Unit to a residence where various illegal drugs were being used and sold. There were seven people in the house upon our arrival, but when we knocked on the front door three people ran out the back of the residence and were immediately apprehended The part of this story I want to share is that we treated all the suspects in a professional manner and they treated us the same. During a search of the residence the team heroin, needles, marijuana and other drug related items. I had the opportunity to speak with one female suspect who told me that she was addicted to heroin for nearly a year until she was able to get treatment. This female was from a larger city during the extent of her addiction. I also spoke with a young male suspect who told me he has been addicted to heroin for nearly 6 months. This male stated that his addiction cost him his family his career and his home. He admits that he feels like a failure and wants to stop. This individual told me that he has to shoot heroin in his veins everyday or he becomes violently ill. He says that his heroin addiction has taken over his life. His downward spiral started with pills, but when they became unavailable he switched to heroin and became addicted. This addiction has changed his life. He does not have insurance and does not have the money needed to get into a treatment program. I asked him if he wanted help and he stated that he did. He and I exchanged phone numbers and I promised him I would get him help and would be calling him very soon. My heart goes out to this young man and there are so many out there like him. He needs help, but we cannot allow people to get others hooked on the drugs either, so there is no easy answer. This past Tuesday Mayor Bill Jenks launched his Community Action Team with a meeting of counselors, ministers, and other civic minded people. We would like to establish clinics here in Rolla to help heroin and meth addicts. If we don’t, it is going to get a lot worse and it’s bad enough already. We want to be able to help these people, and that help may come in the form of an arrest, a short time in jail or rehab and counseling. This is our goal. I felt so bad for this young man and wanted a way to help him immediately but after calling available treatment centers, we learned of an 8-10 week waiting period. There has to be a better way, and we will find it! We need to help people, but it’s up to each person to help themselves. Their family, friends, neighbors, or even government cannot fix all their problems. So our advice to you is don’t start drugs! Train your kids early and tell all that will listen that drugs destroy lives! Don’t talk to me about making any drugs legal, if it cause’s one extra person to start on a drug it’s not worth the risk. I will keep you posted on the help and recovery of this person, we will pray it works out.

Have a great week!

Chief Mark Kearse

Monday, April 11, 2011

Follow in footsteps of Rolla pioneers and be part of Rolla's Sesquicentennial Parade

   If your business, organization, school, college, church, service club or civic organization would like to follow in the footsteps of Rolla pioneers, make history, and have a lot of fun while doing it, then we have a place for you in the Rolla Sesquicentennial Parade on Saturday, June 4 at 10 a.m. in downtown Rolla.
   The theme of the parade is “Rolla – Then and Now”, and will consist of the 15 historic decades that make up the City’s past 150 years as a community. Do you have a classic car, truck or even stagecoach or wagon you would like to showcase in the parade? Is your business, service club or organization celebrating a significant anniversary? Do you have a piece of Rolla history such as an old sign, vintage marquee, piece of farm equipment or other historic artifact? Has your school, college or business celebrated milestones throughout the past few years that you would like to showcase to the community? If so, we would love to include your entry and invite you to be part of Rolla’s Sesquicentennial Parade that will trace the footsteps of our ancestors along historic U.S. Route 66 on Pine Street. 
   To register for your opportunity to ‘make history’ and be a part of this Rolla living history parade, please contact Larry Stratman, Chairman of the Sesquicentennial Parade, at 364-3291 or Aimee Campbell at 364-3577. Several entries have already been made, but we are looking for even more interest and participation as we get closer to Rolla’s Sesquicentennial Celebration on Saturday, June 4.
    For more information regarding the day-long Rolla Sesquicentennial Celebration, please visit

18% voter turnout at April 5 General Election could have been higher

   With a voter turnout during the Rolla Municipal General Election on April 5 very nearly the 18% predicted, it was somewhat disappointing to not see more folks out at the polls and participating in the election. That said, I would like to still thank everyone who did take the time to vote in the April 5 general election, and all the volunteers who worked at the polling places around town.
   In addition to congratulating the six individuals who were elected to represent their wards on the City Council and who will be sworn in it at the next City Council meeting on Monday, April 18 at 6:30 p.m., I would also like to express my thanks and appreciation to the three outgoing City Council members who have served the City and will be attending their final Council meeting on April 18. The outgoing City Council members include Don Brown, Ward I; Ken Boeker, Ward 5 and Mark Walburg, Ward 6. The newly elected Council members include: Bill Lindgren, Jr., Ward I; Greg Sawyer, Ward II; Gary Hicks, Ward III; Louis Magdits, Ward IV; Carrolyn Bolin, Ward 5 and Fran Mazanec, Ward 6. I would also like to congratulate James Crump, Rolla Municipal Judge, who ran unopposed for a new two-year term as Municipal Judge.
   The results of the vote regarding Proposition A – the proposed ½ cent Park Sales Tax that was endorsed by the Rolla City Council, with 67% of the voters voting no on the proposition is one of the first major ballot issues not to successfully pass in many years in Rolla. The Rolla City Council, City Administration and City staff will be working diligently in the upcoming months to address the implications of this in terms of next year’s budget, and how to best address the needs and priorities of our City and community. We appreciate all the feedback and input we have received over the past year regarding the proposed ½ cent park sales tax, and will continue to welcome comments and input regarding suggestions and ideas to enhance our community’s quality of life for generations to come.
   On a lighter note, I am pleased to share with our residents that the City will be receiving a very generous donation from Ameren U.E. in the way of a surplus 1999 GMC C-7500 utility truck. The truck will be donated to the City’s Public Works Department by officials with Ameren U.E. The truck will be put to very good use in the City’s Street Department. I am also pleased to announce that over 90 tons of materials was collected by the City’s Environmental Services Department during the annual City-Wide Clean Up (residential only) held last Saturday on April 2. We appreciate everyone’s participation in this bi-annual event, and remind you that the City-Wide Clean Ups are held twice a year – once in April (first Saturday) and the other in October (first Saturday). For more information, please contact the Environmental Services Department at 364-6693.
   In closing, I’d like to remind everyone that the 10th Annual Rolla Earth Day Celebration will be held Friday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. outside the Missouri S&T Gale Bullman Multi-Purpose Building at 10th Street and State Route 63. Businesses, government offices, and non-profit organizations are encouraged to participate. Rolla Earth Day exhibits are limited to organizations sharing information about topics related to sustainability, recycling, environmental best practices, earth and biological sciences and environmental policy. Last year, approximately 1,500 children and adults attended the event. Hands-on children’s activities are encouraged. Giveaways are allowed but only if they relate to the theme (such as trees, seeds, flowers planted in biodegradable flower pots, or products made from natural and/or recyclable materials). This year’s theme is:  Live Green, Love Green, Think Green.
   For more information, please contact Julie Wilson at 341-4262 or at your earliest opportunity. You can register your exhibit at Rolla Earth Day Celebration is a free event that includes children’s activities, educational exhibits, live music, a fashion show with items made from recycled materials, and more.  The event will take place rain or shine. Have a safe week!