Friday, May 18, 2012

Police Chief Chat

Drug watch: This entry is from Cpl. Josh Campbell of the Street Crimes Unit. Josh writes: The Street Crimes Unit decided to spend a little free time at a local business that chooses to sell synthetic narcotics. During this time, officers witnessed numerous people from all age ranges purchasing bath salts and synthetic marijuana. While there is no crime we can arrest them for when they sell or buy the synthetics, we can ask to speak with them. One of the subjects I had the chance to talk to paid almost $40.00 for a small vial of powder that he said makes him "High". The problem with this young man was he had decided to waste his money on dope versus paying his child support. A Felony Warrant for failing to pay his child support had been issued earlier in the year so the man got to take a ride to jail. As always, if you have any information to help us fight this plague, please contact our office. 

Members of the Street Crimes Unit observed a vehicle parked in a fire lane today. While this does not sound like a typical drug investigation, what happened next is what stands out. It was determined that the driver was in the pharmacy and while waiting for him to return to the vehicle, so a warning or citation could be issued, the officers noticed several things that caused them to take a stand off approach. The driver returned to the car a short time later then drove to another pharmacy in town. After purchasing an item at this pharmacy, the driver met with another person on the back lot of a local business. The officers watched as the two people began to open several small packages and started consuming the contents. After this, the vehicle pulled from the lot and traveled to a residence. Further investigation at the residence revealed the occupants of the vehicle were addicted to heroin and were using Suboxone in place of the heroin. These two were defiantly not following the doctor's dosage limits as prescribed. If you are unaware, Suboxone is being used to treat heroin addiction.
The Street Crimes Unit along with the new HUD Housing Officer completed several narcotics investigations this week. During the investigations, heroin and synthetic narcotics were seized. During these investigations, the officers are not only worrying about violent encounters, but they also have to worry about the numerous disease threats when locating the syringes that go along with these drugs.

This past week the Rolla Police Department handled 816 calls for service. Of these calls there were: 24 arrests, 19 alarms, 25 accidents, 38 traffic complaints, 16 check the well being, 166 traffic stops, 27 disturbance (including domestics), 19 suspicious nature, 24 assists of other agencies, 9 field interviews, 13 escorts, 3 leave without pays, 62 security checks, 47 animal control complaints, 1 assault, 16 stealings, 4 fight, 27 follow up investigations. This call total is up 37 calls from last week and yes, another busy week!

A few nights ago, officers were dispatched to a report of an intoxicated person walking near a roadway. We receive over 200 such calls a year and you never know what it will be. Upon arrival, the officer was contacted by a citizen who pointed to the wooded area where the person was standing. The officer approached the suspect and asked the suspect to come out of the woods and talk to him., The suspect shouted a “four letter word” and refused to leave the wood line. After several requests with the same response, the officer requested back up. The suspect then pulled a knife and held it against his own throat threatening to kill himself. The officer drew his weapon and told him to drop the knife several times. The suspect told the officer he was going to kill him and then kill another officer.

The officer told the suspect to put the knife down several more times and the suspect would respond with four letter words repeated his threat to kill the officer. The suspect changed the grip on the weapon and took a stance as if he was going to charge the officer. The officer told the suspect that if he moved toward him he would have to shoot him. The suspect said do it. (If you have not been in a situation like this it’s very stressful, you have to protect your life and make the right choices in seconds, but it depends on what the suspect does, he is in charge of the results of his actions.) Additional officers arrived on the scene, but the suspect still refused to drop the knife, even after being asked to several more times. One officer used a taser on the suspect but missed, another officer used his taser and the suspect was hit, falling to the ground. The officer’s then hand-cuffed the suspect and transported him to a medical facility. The officers did a great job, and the taser are one of the greatest tools we have in law enforcement, as many times they prevent the use of deadly force. In addition the taser offers another option other than hands-on which leads to the possibility of officers receiving injuries.

This next entry is from the desk of Communications Chief Paula Volkmer. Paula writes: Last week the Rolla Police Department hosted and instructed the 40 hour APCO Basic Telecommunicator Certification. This class was developed and presented by our very own APCO instructor Stacey Smith (who coincidentally is approaching her 16 year anniversary with our agency!). This class covers call taking and radio techniques, emerging technologies, liability and responsibilities of 911 dispatchers.

Stacey received the excellent scores for her week long presentation for usefulness of the material, organization, knowledge of subject matter and capturing the attendees’ attention. I would like to share some of the students comments; “Very informational, good use of videos, instructor was very prepared and had students involved", "class was relevant for me. I learned a lot and it helped me on call taking skills" and "enjoyed everything, good for new employees". Kudos to Stacey for another successful certification class!

In closing I would like to congratulate those employees celebrating their Rolla Police Department anniversary date this month who is Lt. Doug James with 21 years, Communications Supervisor Stacey Smith with 16 years, Senior Patrol Officer Ben Tinsley with 6 years and Senior Patrol Officer Jason Copeland with 6 years. Thanks for all you do.

Have a great week!

Chief Mark Kearse

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