Friday, September 2, 2011

Police Chief Chat

This past week, the Rolla Police Department handled 796 calls for service. Of these calls there were: 23 arrests, 18 alarm calls, 18 traffic accident reports, 51 traffic complaints, 17 check the well being requests, 108 traffic stops, 27 disturbance calls (including domestics), 20 suspicious nature complaints, 25 assists of other agencies, 6 narcotics violations, 13 security checks, 15 business escorts, 4 soliciting complaints, 2 lost or stolen property reports and 1 business license complaint. This call total is down 52 calls from last week, but yet another busy week.

• Since its inception, the Rolla Police Department’s VIPS (Volunteers in Police Service) program has had a close relationship with the Rolla Public Schools. Every school day, VIPS personnel regularly patrol a 2-3 block radius around each school, helping to ensure student safety. In addition, VIPS volunteers monitor traffic speed around the schools, assist the crossing guards, manage summer school traffic, participate in safety presentations and functions at all the schools, and generally assist the School Resource Officer when needed.

In January of 2009, the VIPS program began operations with two patrol vehicles. Both vehicles were used extensively as RPD patrol vehicles prior to the vehicles being assigned to the program. Due to growth in the program, and the fact that each VIPS vehicle had well over 100,000 miles, it was decided that VIPS needed another vehicle to complement existing road operations. Given the level of VIPS activity with the Rolla School District, Captain Jason Smith approached district Superintendent Dr. Aaron Zalis about the possibility of providing a third vehicle to the VIPS’ fleet. Dr. Zalis liked the idea and asked his staff at the Rolla Technical Institute to look for a vehicle (possibly a wrecked police car that could be repaired at RTI) to integrate into the existing fleet. Within a couple of weeks, Collision Repair Instructor Mike Hoffstetter found a 2010 Crown Victoria police car at St. James Auto Salvage that had been in a wreck. Captain Smith and VIPS Director Vince Giacolone looked at the vehicle and determined that, after repair, the vehicle would be perfect for the VIPS program.
• In February 2011, the car was purchased by the district and moved to the RTI body shop for repairs. At about the same time, Angie Yowell, RTI’s graphic arts instructor was contacted about the possibility of using the students in her graphics design class to design the exterior graphics for the new VIPS patrol vehicle. Angie liked the idea because it would give her students “real world” design experience. Rough parameters and guidelines were established in two separate meetings and the graphic arts students were then given the challenge of creating the graphic “wrap” for the vehicle. Within three weeks, Angie presented RPD with forty different graphic designs, one from each student, for the wrap. Chief Kearse, Captain Smith and Vince Giacolone selected five of the best designs, and within one week, met one more time in early April with Ms. Yowell to select the final design that would be used on the new VIPS vehicle. Once the design was selected, final body work was completed on the vehicle the graphic design package was given to Sign Dimensions, of Rolla for the exterior wrap to be applied; this was the first week of May. Two weeks later, the car was returned with the wrap in place, but all parties, RPD, RTI, even Sign Dimensions, agreed that the colors in the wrap did not match the anticipated colors presented in the design package. Several attempts at color matching were made during the summer months, but finally the new VIPS car was accepted by RTI and RPD on August 18. Emergency lights, sirens and radios are being installed at the present time.

The Rolla Police Department Volunteers in Police Services and the Rolla Public Schools would like to invite you to the first annual RTI/RTC Family night "Cruise-In" at the Rolla Technical Institute located at 1304 E. 10th St. on Thursday, September 8, 2011 from 6 - 8 p.m. The "Cruise-in" will feature custom cars and motorcycles on display and will also be the chosen site for the unveiling of the new Volunteers in Police Services Patrol Car provided by the Rolla Public Schools. We are very excited about the introduction of this "specialty" vehicle to our VIPS program and would like to invite you and your family to share in the excitement. There will be several of our VIPS volunteers on hand to answer any questions you may have concerning the new VIPS patrol car or the VIPS program.

In celebration of the upcoming introduction of our new Volunteers in Police Services vehicle, we would like to announce that on Saturday, September 24, 2011 the new VIPS Patrol car will be featured in the upcoming Celebration of Nations Parade. If you would like to be part of this celebration and ride along in the parade with VIPS Director Vince Giacolone, simply tell us on FaceBook what you like about our VIPS program or about how a VIPS volunteer/officer has provided a service you have witnessed. We will review the stories and choose 2 winners to be our Guest of Honor in the parade. Contest will end on September 21, 2011. Let the stories begin!

This past week the Rolla Police Department was notified by the Missouri Department of Transportation Traffic & Highway Safety Division that they will continue to provide us with grant funds for the 2012 fiscal year. During the last few years these funds have been used to combat impaired driving, aggressive driving and occupant protection enforcement by providing funds for manpower and equipment. Over the next several weeks our Patrol Division will be taking part in the “You Drink and Drive, You Lose” driving while intoxicated campaign where enhanced patrols will be conducted targeting intoxicated drivers, speeding violations and careless and imprudent driving incidences.

And in closing I am proud to announce recent promotions within the Rolla Police Department. Effective September 4, 2011 Sgt. Tim Mayfield will begin his duties as shift supervisor in the Patrol Division. Sgt. Mayfield began his tenure with the Rolla Police Department as a Police Explorer. He then went on to become a telecommunicator in Central Dispatch. After a period there, he became interested in becoming a police officer and was appointed to the patrol division where he attained the rank of Corporal, then Sergeant. Sgt. Mayfield left the Rolla Police Department for a brief period to take a position as a Fire Fighter with Rolla Fire and Rescue. Tim then returned to us as a Corporal where he has served remarkably thereby warranting his promotion to Sergeant. Congratulations Tim!

I am also very proud to announce that effective September 4, 2011 Corporal Josh Campbell of the Street Crimes Unit will begin his duties as supervisor of the Street Crimes Unit and the Police K-9 Unit. Josh began his law enforcement career with the Houston, Missouri Police Department before transferring to the South Central Drug Task Force where he served as an agent in covert drug operations. Cpl. Campbell then joined the Rolla Police Department where he continued to serve with the SCDTF until becoming a member of the Street Crimes Unit and K-9 handler. Congratulations Josh.

And last but not least I would like to congratulate Senior Patrol Officer Luke Kearse on his appointment as S.W.A.T. Team Leader. Spo. Kearse served in the U.S. Marine Corps., before joining the Rolla Police Department in January of 2003. Spo. Kearse served in the Patrol Division until his activation in the U.S. Marine Corps. Reserves where he served a year long term in Iraq. Spo. Kearse returned to the Police Department and was critical in the implementation of the newly formed Street Crimes Unit where he currently is assigned. Kearse’s training and experience will be a tremendous asset to the S.W.A.T. team leadership. Congratulations Luke!

Have a great week!

Chief Mark Kearse

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