Our Behind the Badge group held a bake sale Thursday evening at the Wal-Mart Supercenter to raise money for charitable events and to sponsor our annual awards banquet which will be held this evening at the Havener Center. The bake sale raised over $300.00 in just 2 hours, which is remarkable considering all the other events going on at this time. Thank you to the ladies of the Behind the Badge organization for the time and effort to create some wonderful snacks and desserts and to Wal-Mart Supercenter for allowing us to hold the sale at the store.
Our annual awards banquet is an opportunity for our Rolla Police Family to get together and pay tribute to the members of our agency that went above and beyond what is considered the normal call to duty to protect our community and keep our citizens safe. My staff and I gather recommendations throughout the year from supervisors, other officers and citizens then award citations to officers and civilian personnel that qualify for the following awards: Medal of Honor, Legion of Honor, Combat Cross, Wounded in Combat, Gallantry Star, Gallantry Star, Grand Cordon, Meritorious Service, Life Saving, Samaritan, Queen’s Honor, Distinguished Volunteer Service, Exceptional Duty, Honorable Service, Civilian Service, Educational Achievement and the Letter of Recognition.
Typically, the bulk of the awards are from the Exceptional Duty, Honorable Service and Letters of Recognition, but on occasion the officers become involved in situations that warrant the more prestigious awards such as the Medal of Honor and Gallantry Star. It is very common to award several Life Saving Honors for the year for officers who have performed CPR and other life saving techniques to restore life in threatening situations.
On another note, I read a disturbing report that was submitted by Cpl. Harry Eckman regarding his response to a fight call in the 1200 block of Holloway St. on Wednesday afternoon. The call came in as several subjects involved in an altercation in that area. Investigation revealed that 2 male juveniles had received an invitation via cell phone, from 2 other male juveniles to meet them at the location and fight over a pre-existing disagreement. Allegedly, the 4 male juveniles arrived at the location where an argument ensued, that led to a pushing exchange then eventually the pushing escalated to a full blown brawl where at least 3 other male juveniles and an adult male became involved in the fracas. Overall, at least 2 male juveniles were hospitalized for their injuries and others sought individual treatment.
What concerns me is the willingness of the initial male juveniles to meet at some location to commit a serious crime. Secondly, the alleged involvement of an adult male, who is supposed to know better, but becomes active as a primary aggressor in the situation. The adult male was arrested for 2 counts of assault in the 1st degree and 9 counts of endangering the welfare of a juvenile. These are serious crimes and carry substantial punishment upon conviction. This situation is troubling in that it reminds me of a very similar situation where a Rolla youth was kicked and beaten at a local restaurant over a trivial matter that led to a permanent brain injury. Please realize this type of situation can get out of hand real quick and lead to serious injury or death to those involved and may also lead to substantial punishment to those responsible. Think before you act!
In closing, I would like to mention that our Law Enforcement Torch Run Trivia Night was tremendous fun and a great success. We were able to raise over $1500.00 for our Special Olympic athletes thanks to the support received from both the entering teams and our sponsors. Without you, we could not succeed. Special thanks to Administrative assistant Kerri Schultz, Lt. Doug James and S/Sgt. Rick Williams for their coordination efforts to make the evening a success. Thank you for helping us help the athletes!