Friday, May 6, 2011

Police Chief Chat

This past week, the Rolla Police Department handled handled 742 calls for service. Of these calls there were: 21 arrests, 13 alarms, 27 accidents, 43 traffic complaints, 92 traffic stops, 24 disturbance (including domestics), 17 suspicious nature, 30 assists of other agencies, 9 narcotics violations, 46 911 hang ups, 7 public relations contacts, 32 security checks, 37 animal control, 4 mental health, 5 try to contacts, 2 runaways and 2 keep the peace calls. This call total is up 18 calls from last week and include an unlawful use of a weapon complaint, an apartment fire and several drug arrests, yet another busy week.

On Tuesday, May 3, 2011 Central Dispatch received a report of smoke coming from an apartment on Houston Road. Rolla Street Crimes Officer Luke Kearse responded to the location and discovered smoke coming from the front of the apartment. Officer Kearse propped the front door of the residence open and entered the apartment in an attempt to locate anyone inside. Officer Kearse discovered a disoriented male in the apartment and was able to get him outside the apartment. Kearse then re-entered the apartment and discovered a burning mattress which was the source of the fire and smoke. Officer Kearse was able to pull the burning mattress outside the apartment where it was extinguished by arriving members of Rolla Fire and Rescue. The male from inside the apartment was checked by EMS personnel and released. Great job to Officer Kearse!

On Wednesday, May 4, 2011 the Rolla Optimist Club hosted the annual Respect for Law Banquet where area law enforcement agencies are invited to a banquet in their honor, as a way to show appreciation for doing what we do to keep the community safe. Traditionally, members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Phelps County Sheriff’s Department, Missouri S&T Police Department, Rolla Police Department, Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Phelps County Circuit Court and other elected officials are invited as well. The highlight of the evening is the announcement of the winner of the coveted Bramlett-Light Award, named after two progressive Rolla Police Chiefs Sherman Bramlett and Ab Light. This year the recipients were the Rolla Police Departments Street Crimes Unit Officers Josh Campbell and Luke Kearse for their dedication and hard work and diligence in fighting crime. The Street Crimes Unit was launched in January 2011, with a mission to focus on the serious criminal element and to concentrate enforcement efforts on the heroin and methamphetamine problem. In just a few weeks, the unit has already made a name for themselves by working long hours and making an unbelievable amount of arrests for heroin, methamphetamines, meth labs, indoor grow operations and illegal pill possession as well as catching several violent offenders. They have also worked with several members of the community in securing treatment for those addicted and needing help. All this in less than 6 months in operation. We see nothing but great things in the future from the Street Crimes Unit. Upon receiving the award, Officers Josh Campbell and Luke Kearse were quick to recognize the Patrol division of the Rolla Police Department and Phelps County Sheriff’s Deputies for their continuous assistance and agreed that the success is due to the team atmosphere and abilities to work side by side to serve one common goal, our citizens! Officer Josh Campbell has served with the Rolla Police Department for over three years after nearly ten years of working undercover for various drug task forces. Officer Luke Kearse has served with the Rolla Police Department over 8 years since leaving the US Marine Corps, where he served in Fallujah attaining the rank of Sergeant. We are very proud of both of them! Keep up the great work.

I am excited to tell you that the Rolla Daily News has proposed an idea for a new feature in their newspaper where each week, they spotlight a Rolla Police Department employee as a way to introduce our Rolla Police family to the community. Beginning next week, and each week after, one of our employees will be spotlighted with information on what position they hold within the Police Department, how they came to be interested in that position, what their duties include, what they like about the job and other pertinent information. Be sure to watch for this new feature.

Over the past few weeks, we have been receiving more and more complaints of property damage in various locations around the community in the way of “tagging” or “graffitti” being painted on public and private property. Typically the graffitti depicts what are commonly referred to as “gang” signs or lettering to signify membership in certain gang-like groups. This type of graffitti is very unsightly and damaging when applied to certain surfaces and is typically difficult and expensive to remove. Over the past few days the graffitti has become more of an attack on law enforcement in general and even included references to a certain officer. This type of graffitti or defacing of public or personal property is serious enough in its own right, but when the language begins to make references to law enforcement and the representatives of the law enforcement community, then in becomes a matter of serious concern. I will tell you this, those responsible for these acts will be sought out using every available resource and we will not rest until these criminals are located, apprehended and brought to justice. I have authorized our Patrol Division, Criminal Investigations Unit, Street Crimes and our CAT team to use all resources made available to them to pursue these culprits until this matter is resolved. One of our most valued resources is you the community, and we rely heavily on information provided to us from you. If you know of anyone involved in committing any of these acts of destruction or have witnessed anything pertinent to this investigation, please contact our Rolla Police Department Confidential Hotline number at 364-0111.

In closing, we would like to invite you to participate in the 4th Annual Fire Truck Pull to be held in conjunction with the Rt. 66 Summerfest on June 4, 2011. Once again, we have teamed with Rolla Fire and Rescue to bring you this fun-filled event. The competition will feature teams of up to 10 people pulling a fully loaded fire truck a distance of 30 feet in the best time. The cost per team is $100.00 and all proceeds will benefit Veteran's Memorial Park. In previous years we have had team entries from Rolla Fire and Rescue, Phelps County Sheriff’s Department, The Centre, Vessell’s Fitness Complex, Lebanon Police Department, Peterson Chiropractic Clinic, Fairground Auto-Plex, Rolla VFW, Warrior Gym and Rolla PD. To enter a team contact S/Sgt. Rick Williams at 308-1213. Help us help the veterans!

Chief Mark Kearse

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