Friday, October 7, 2011

Police Chief Chat

On Tuesday afternoon we learned of the passing of retired Missouri State Highway Patrol Sergeant and former Phelps County Sheriff Thomas W. Pasley. Tom Pasley was 96 years old at his passing and has been a legend in law enforcement for over 50 years. Pasley began is law enforcement career in 1939 when he was appointed to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. He served with the patrol until his retirement in 1972 at which time he ran for the position of Phelps County Sheriff. Pasley won the election and took office in 1973 where he served until his second retirement in 1988. During his time with the patrol he was noted for his excellent marksmanship with the pistol and was a member of the pistol team. He was the creator of the door emblem currently displayed on the MSHP cars and served on the “Safety Squadron”. As Sheriff, Pasley served 4 consecutive terms and was known as a Sheriff who cared for his community, and a true mentor to many up and coming law enforcement officers such as the current Sheriff Rick Lisenbe, our own Lt. Rick Williams, Telecommunications Supervisor Scott Olds, Phelps County Court Security Director Christopher Steen, and Phelps County Sheriff’s Dept. Cpl. Paul Lambert. He will be truly missed and our prayers go out to his family. Rest in Peace 65!

The United States Attorney’s Office announced on Tuesday that Lowell Aughenbaugh of Odell, IL was sentenced to 37 months in prison on illegal weapons charges, and threatening to injure family members and law enforcement officers. According to court documents, on December 31, 2009, during a series of telephone calls Aughenbaugh told family members that he planned to travel to Rolla, Missouri and harm his wife and any others who attempted to stop him. On January 3, 2010, law enforcement located and seized approximately 91 firearms and ammunition contained in two safes. Aughenbaugh had been using the safes to store the weapons and ammunition. Of the 91 firearms,15 were determined to be fully automatic “machine guns.” Aughenbaugh, 48, Odell, IL, pled guilty in July to one felony count of illegal possession of machine guns and one felony count of interstate communication of threats to injure another, and appeared today for sentencing before United States District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh Jr. This case was investigated by the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department, Rolla Police Department, McCook, Illinois Police Department, Illinois State Police, Cook County Sheriff’s Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Drake handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

This past week, the Rolla Police Department handled 752 calls for service. Of these calls there were: 27 arrests, 11 alarms, 23 accidents, 40 traffic complaints, 11 check the well being, 106 traffic stops, 22 disturbance (including domestics), 19 suspicious nature, 24 assists of other agencies, 5 telephone harassments, 4 narcotics complaints, 42 animal control calls, 4 fights, 1 no business license, 4 loitering and 3 malicious mischief complaints. This call total is down 43 calls from last week but yet, another busy week!

This past week, Senior Patrol Officer Tony Lauth and members of the Rolla Street Crimes Division conducted an investigation into a stolen property case. During the course of the investigation, these officers received information to the whereabouts of stolen property in Texas County. After coordinating with the Texas County Sheriff's Office and the Licking Police Department, officers were able to recover approximately $2000.00 worth of stolen property. Arrests will follow, and there is a possibility of retrieving additional stolen property. Great job guys!

On Wednesday of this week, The Rolla Police Department conducted our annual physical training (pt) test for all sworn officers. The test conducted by Lt. Doug James and Det. Hank Harper consists of push-ups, sit-ups, sit and reach testing and a 1.5 mile run. All events are timed and scores are generated based on technique, strength, endurance and speed. All officers are required to participate in the test as well as new applicants applying for the position of police officer. This test is used to ensure that our police officers are capable in the performance of their duties. Beginning in 2012 the tests will be given twice a year.

The Rolla Police Department will be losing an icon next week as we return our leased motorcycle to Ozark Harley-Davidson. The motorcycle program has been in effect since 2002 when we began leasing the bikes from the Lebanon dealership. They were used for parade details, special events, funeral and dignitary escorts and traffic enforcement. This year, in an effort to help reduce the effects of the City of Rolla's budget constraints we let the bike go. If the situation improves next year, we may request to renew the program. The motorcycle was due back on Friday, but Ozark Harley-Davidson was kind enough to allow us to delay the return till next week, as to allow us to participate in Sheriff Pasley’s funeral procession.

Have a great week!

Chief Mark Kearse

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