Friday, November 18, 2011

Police Chief Chat

This past week, the Rolla Police Department handled 646 calls for service. Of these calls there were: 26 arrests, 13 alarms calls, 24 accident reports, 34 traffic complaints, 10 check the well being requests, 72 traffic stops, 25 disturbance (including domestics) calls, 15 suspicious nature complaints, 23 assists of other agency requests, 11 field interviews, 11 escorts, 10 leave without pay reports, 44 animal control calls, 5 mental health complaints, 2 littering calls, 6 destruction of property reports, 3 juvenile complaints, 1 sex crime and 5 telephone harassment complaints. This call total is down 67 calls from last week, but yet another busy week!

On Tuesday, November 15, 2011 I attended the monthly meeting of the Missouri Police Chief’s Association, held in Jefferson City, Missouri. The monthly meetings are an opportunity to gather with other police chief’s across Missouri and discuss crime analogy, enforcement techniques and strategies and also to learn of any new programs or equipment offered to enhance a law enforcement agency’s capabilities. This past week I learned of a program that will be adopted by other agencies across the state as tool to combat teen substance abuse. The program is the Missouri Police Chief’s Home Drug Testing Program. Do you think your teen may be experimenting with drugs, alcohol or tobacco? It is best to solve problems before they occur or get much worse. Unfortunately “friends” often try harder to make kids who say “no” to drugs, alcohol and tobacco feel like outcasts. Home testing kits have emerged that protect privacy and provide kids with a socially acceptable excuse, “My parents test me.” For years, police have been the first to know when local kids used drugs while their parents were often the last to know. Now there is a way to reverse that trend. We will have more on the Home Testing Program in the near future.

The Rolla Police Department was notified this week that we were awarded a Local Law Enforcement Block Grant in the amount of $10,000.00. The grant is to be used to purchase law enforcement related equipment and will be used to purchase 1 patrol car light bar, 1 in-car camera, 10 LED flashlights and 47 pairs of Kevlar cut resistant patrol gloves. These gloves will be resistant to needles and other sharp objects, officers are likely to discover while doing vehicle and suspect searches. In addition we purchased barrel bolts and bright yellow plastic safety bolts for rifles and handguns to be utilized during training scenarios in an effort to insure weapons cannot fire during these events. This decision was based on an incident recently where a Missouri police officer was killed during a firearms training scenario. This grant required 10% of the awarded amount in matching funds that was paid for out of an illegal drug forfeiture fund.

This weekend the Rolla Police Department will be joining efforts with statewide law enforcement agencies across Missouri for an aggressive "Click it or Ticket" mobilization to get more motorists to buckle up and save more lives. Despite evidence proving the benefits of wearing a seat belt, nearly one in four Missouri motorists are still not making it click. Seven out of 10 Missourians killed in traffic crashes are unbuckled. Local motorists should be prepared for stepped up "Click it or Ticket" enforcement, says Sgt. Tim Mayfield. "We'll be out there to remind you that seat belts can - and do - save lives." Buckle Up and Arrive Alive! For more information on Missouri seat belt usage, visit

Well the holiday season is just around the corner with Thanksgiving next week and the Christmas shopping season following on black Friday. We are already seeing an increase in shoplifting apprehensions in our local businesses and thefts from vehicles is also on the rise. Remember while shopping to keep handbags and wallets secure and be protective of credit cards, debit cards and pin numbers. Do not leave purses and handbags unattended in shopping carts or in plain view in your vehicles. It is best to refrain from keeping any valuables in vehicles but if necessary be sure to keep them out of sight and remember to lock your vehicles and take the keys with you. This also seems to be the time of year where we have more reports of fraud or attempted fraud over the telephone or internet. Scammers typically call a resident and tell them a sob story of how a dearly departed relative of the caller has passed away and left a large amount of money to the scammer. They will then try to obtain your checking or savings account numbers and promise to deposit a large amount of money in the account if you promise to pay some obligatory fees. Of course you will never see your money again, or theirs either. Remember the basic rule to scams. If it appears to be too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true. Be safe and have a happy Thanksgiving.

Have a great week!

Chief Mark Kearse

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