Drug watch: On Wednesday, March 27 the Street Crimes unit conducted a narcotics investigation in the 1000 block of Forum Drive. The Patrol Division was requested to assist in the arrest of a heroin dealer.

Drug watch: On Wednesday, March 27 the Street Crimes unit conducted a narcotics investigation in the 1000 block of Forum Drive. The Patrol Division was requested to assist in the arrest of a heroin dealer. When a vehicle stop was attempted the suspect fled and lead the Patrol Division on a short pursuit.

The suspect fled on foot from the vehicle in the area of Independence and 10th Street. A short time later the suspect was arrested hiding in his residence. When the suspect was taken into custody it was learned he was using a false identity and had several warrants for his arrest. We would like to thank the Phelps County Sheriff's Department and Missouri State Highway Patrol in assisting us with the arrest of this heroin dealer.

Recently I was interviewed by television and radio stations from Kansas City, Columbia and KY3 TV out of Springfield about our drug campaign and the overall marketing of the Rolla Police Dept. They were interested in our Facebook page, the weekly newspaper article in the Rolla Daily News- Chief Chat, the Rolla Police Dept. drug calendar, our float, the Harlem Shake and the bill boards. KY3 will be airing their interview tomorrow.

They want to know why, how etc..., so this is basically what I gave them. How did all this start? Rolla is my hometown and I have been a police officer here since 1982, I have seen many changes in crime and the types of criminals moving to our area. First, I believe that the public has a right to know what their police force is doing, by law and for safety of all we have to keep some information confidential.

So we started the weekly news paper column, Chief Chat to inform the public about the department. Then we started the Facebook page and I call it RPDs newspaper to also inform the public. During this time we started seeing an increase in heroin overdoses. I tried to go to every scene and talk to the users and their friends and it became apparent that many wanted help and had no place to turn and the heroin dealers were moving into our town.

We started the street crimes unit and began our drug campaign to educate officials, parents, schools and the kids about the dangers of illegal drugs. We did so, with the bill boards, our parade float and the calendar. They were designed to get people talking about the issues and in my opinion, it worked. I knew if we used boring pictures and words it would not be noticed, so we tried to make them outrageous to get people’s attention.

The Rolla Police Department went viral on many fronts, from the calendar to the bill boards to our parade float. We have chased out and arrested many hardcore dealers from our community, while we can never stop drugs, we can try to keep the violent and hardcore drug thugs and dealers out of the community. Word on the street is heroin dealers will not come to Rolla because of our pro active stance, so the users are driving to other towns to get their fix. That’s a start, and for your information, the funds used for the marketing campaign comes from the drug dealers, I think that’s a win, win situation.

Lt. Jim Macormic has been a little busy the past couple weeks as the City of Rolla’s Emergency Management Director. March 12 Lt. Macormic attended the 2013 Missouri Energy Assurance Planning Workshop held in Jefferson City. This workshop provided EMD’s with resources and contacts for their areas in case of “Super Storms” which cause power outages and or storms that disrupt the normal transportation of any type of fuel. 

We met with major power/fuel suppliers from the state to discuss alternate routes of power through the nations power grid and alternate routes of fuel through the numerous pipelines throughout our region. Then on March 20 Lt. Macormic attended the SEMA Region I coordinators meeting, EMD’s (Emergency Management Directors) from the region I counties meet monthly to keep the lines of communication open.

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday and the Christian Life Center will be hosting their 2nd Annual Easter Egg Drop beginning at 9:30 a.m. at Ber Juan Park. This is an event where 30,000 Easter eggs, some containing prizes will be dropped from a helicopter to the waiting crowds below. Did I say crowds? Last year there were over 4,000 people in the park waiting for the egg drop. This year they are anticipating over 5,000.

The reason I am mentioning this event is safety. If you plan to attend please remember that anytime there are crowds of that size, the potential for injury is there. The organizers have assured us that they will have plenty of volunteers on hand to assist with crowd placement and control. They will also have parking attendants on hand and a plan to get everyone in and out of the park safely. We will have officers and VIPS volunteers on site to assist the event staff. Please be patient and respectful of others as you participate in this event.

In closing, I would like to remind you that Tuesday is the General Municipal Elections where you will have the opportunity to select board members for the Phelps County Emergency Services Board and council members for the Rolla City Council. The Emergency Services Board is the governing body that regulates our 911 Central Communications day to day operation. And of course the Rolla City Council governs day to day operations for the City of Rolla. This is a very important election and we encourage you to cast your vote on Tuesday.
Have a great week!