Friday, October 21, 2011

Police Chief Chat

Drug watch: This past week, the Rolla Police Department Street Crimes Unit searched a residence in the Johnson-Laird subdivision and discovered heroin, methamphetamine, (2) pounds of processed marijuana, prescription narcotics, ammunition, a bullet-proof vest and a stolen “Drug Sales – Not in our Town” banner. Arrests were made and warrants are being sought.

On Wednesday, October 19, 2011, members of South Central Drug Task Force, in coordination with the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department, Rolla Police Department, and Missouri State Highway Patrol, launched another drug round-up where 11 more individuals charged with distribution/sales/possession of methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, heroin and prescription medications were being sought on Grand Jury indictments for those charges. The majority of those named in the indictments in this round-up reside in Pulaski County, however 2 of those sought reside in Phelps County. This series of indictments stems from an 18 month investigation that has netted over 90 arrests to date. This round-up up is the 4th such event in as many months with many more on the horizon. Arrest teams consist of members of the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department, Rolla Police Department, Lake Area Narcotics Enforcement Group, Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department. The success of this investigation was only possible through the cooperative efforts of all agencies involved to include. South Central Drug Task Force, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Phelps County Sheriff’s Department, Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Rolla Police Department, and the Lake Area Narcotics Enforcement Group. I very proud of the team effort of area L.E. in catching those that sell drugs in our community

On Saturday, October 29, 2011, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Missouri Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, the Phelps County Advocacy Network, Prevention Consultants of Missouri and the Rolla Police Department will host a “Prescription Drug Take Back” event in the parking lot of the First Presbyterian Church located at 1019 East 10th Street in Rolla. Area residents are encouraged to bring in their old prescription medications for disposal. Needles or used inject able solutions will not be accepted.

This past week, the Rolla Police Department handled 764 calls for service. Of these calls there were: 33 arrests, 9 alarms, 20 accidents, 46 traffic complaints, 12 check the well being, 143 traffic stops, 29 disturbance (including domestics), 6 suspicious nature, 18 assists of other agencies, 1 telephone harassment, 5 narcotics complaints, 48 animal control, 1 no business license, 4 benevolent funds and 10 field interviews. This call total is up 41 calls from last week and yes, another busy week!

Telecommunications Chief Paula Volkmer reports that this past week, telecommunicators Tom Grisham and Keri Lloyd attended a 3 day certification training to perform emergency medical dispatching. Emergency medical dispatch training is utilized in our communication center when a caller is reporting a crisis such as; severe injuries, heart attacks, strokes, child birth and much more. This training allows them to offer directions over the phone until emergency responders arrive on the scene. This training is put to use on many occasions in that just last week Telecommunications Supervisor Chuck Satterfield provided necessary instruction to assist ambulance personnel with a young expecting mother who didn’t quite make it to the ER before her baby was born. Great job Chuck and the EMS personnel! And congratulations to momma!

Well, the Fall season has arrived! Each October the Rolla Police Department begins preparation for the many annual Fall events to include the Downtown Crafts Fair held last weekend, and of course Monday, October 31st with our “Project Halloween” operation. This operation is very simple and designed to keep our children safe during this period of activity. The operation includes beefed up patrols by both our Patrol Division and our Volunteers in Police Services members. This year Halloween falls on Monday evening, which is when the traditional Halloween festivities will be observed in our neighborhoods. The Downtown Business Association will also host their annual “Have a Safe Trick or Treat Night” event on Monday, October 31, 2011, from 5 – 8 p.m. Local business and other organizations will be handing out candy and other treats to trick or treaters on Pine Street between 6th St. and 12th St.

Our main goal during the Halloween celebration is to keep our children safe. Please remember to use extreme caution when driving through both the downtown area and in our neighborhoods. We will have our officers out in force watching for unsafe actions, lost or missing children and traffic violations that create undo hazards for the participants. We would like to also offer a few safety tips to insure that you and your family have a safe and fun-filled Halloween:

  1. Help your child pick out a costume that is fire-proof, reflective or light colored, with large eye openings and one that does not restrict movement.
  2. If you display a candle-lit jack – o’- lantern be sure the placement is not too close to your home and away from the area trick or treaters will frequent.
  3. Encourage children to travel in groups with at least one adult, and only frequent neighborhoods with which they are familiar.
  4. Serve a hearty dinner prior to going out so the children will be less tempted to sample candy and treats that have not been checked by parents. Remember, “when in doubt throw it out!”
  5. Teaching your children basic safety techniques such as, not getting into cars or talking to strangers, looking both ways before crossing streets and obeying cross walk margins, will make their Halloween experience safer.
This weekend, in the spirit of Halloween, there is a new event taking place at the Downtown Festival Lots. The Tri-County Humane Society is hosting a fundraiser “Zombie Walk” on Saturday, October 22, 2011 in effort to provide continued support for their animal shelter. Registration for the walk will begin at 11:00 a.m. with the actual “Zombie Walk” beginning at 12:00 p.m. The “zombies” will walk from the festival lots from 9th to Pine St., south on Pine Street to 7th St. East on 7th to Oak then north on Oak back to the Festival Lots where the event will include live music, a silent auction zombie Olympic games for the kids and a kissing booth. According to the promoters, Zombie Walks are taking place all over the country and are really fun to participate or watch from the sidelines.

In closing, the Rolla Police Department Golden Shield Awards Banquet will be held this Saturday, where officers, civilian and communications personnel are recognized for service above and beyond the day to day requirements of their assigned duties. Among the awards that could be presented are the Medal of Honor, Legion of Honor, Combat Cross, Wounded in Combat, Gallantry Star, Grand Cordon, Meritorious Service, Chief’s Achievement, Life-Saving, Samaritan, Judge JoAnn Mayberry Award and the Mayor’s Award. This is an annual event accompanied by a banquet which has been sponsored by the Behind the Badge organization.

Have a great week!

Chief Mark Kearse

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