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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Chief Chat: Drug watch, robbery, pigeons and crosswalks

  • Drug watch: On Tuesday, March 18, officers of the Rolla Police Department street crimes unit observed a drug transaction take place in a parking lot of a local business. The officers made contact with the subjects and seized several prescription pills that were being illegally sold.
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  • Drug watch: On Tuesday, March 18, officers of the Rolla Police Department street crimes unit observed a drug transaction take place in a parking lot of a local business. The officers made contact with the subjects and seized several prescription pills that were being illegally sold.
    Also on Tuesday, March 18, officers of the Rolla Police Department and the street crimes unit conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle. During a search of the vehicle, methamphetamine, syringes, snorting straws and two pistols were located.
    In addition, on Tuesday, March 18, the street crimes unit conducted a short-term investigation which led to searching a residence. During the search of the residence, crushed narcotics and drug paraphernalia were located.
    Finally, on Tuesday, March 18, at approximately 8:17 p.m., the Rolla Police Department received a 911 report of a strong-armed robbery incident that had just occurred at the Dollar General store which is located at 1441 Forum Drive in Rolla.
    During the course of the investigation it was determined that shortly before the 911 call was made, a black man entered the store and approached one of the cash registers to make a small purchase.
    When the store clerk opened the cash register, the suspect reached into the cash register and stole an undetermined amount of U.S. currency and then he fled the scene on foot, in an unknown direction of travel. No weapon was displayed.
    The suspect is further described as 45-50 years old, approximately 5 feet, 11 inches, and weighing 200 pounds. He was last seen wearing a dark colored Gap-brand jacket, hooded shirt, jeans and gloves. The suspect swings his right arm very distinctively when he walks.
    This incident is still under investigation by the Rolla Police Department’s division of criminal investigation unit. If you have any information pertaining to this investigation, contact Detective Derrick Dillon at 573-308-1213.
    This past week I received an email from a crime victim, concerning the manner in which a couple of my officers handled his complaint. Here is the email content:
    “Just wanted to say thank you to Officer Ziegler and the other officers who apprehended the guys who had thrown a cinder block at my truck and then broke into an O’Reillys truck on Saturday night. That was one of the most pleasant encounters I've ever had with the police.
    “Those guys gave me incredible customer service. They were professional, very courteous and were very on top of their game. Being a former firefighter for a county fire district, I know you don't hear all the good things your officers do so I just want to give them a pat on the back for taking care of business.
    “Officer Ziegler was the only one I had seen the name tag of but I'd like to know the other officer who was there initially. I would like to buy them lunch or dinner or a gift certificate to take their family out in their off time. Thanks again guys for the job well done.”
    Page 2 of 4 - The police chose not to name the victim. The other officer referred to the email was Tony Lauth.
    Thanks for the kind words. They are both great officers, however, as chief I think I should get the dinner for hiring them!
    This next entry is from the desk of Capt. Jason Smith who writes: “Did you know that the Rolla Police Department collects an average of 37 pounds of prescription drugs each month? During August 2013 a drug drop box collection container was placed in the Rolla Police Department’s lobby.
    Its function is to provide Rolla area residents a safe place to dispose of unneeded medicines. Both prescription and over-the-counter medicines are accepted. The project has been in place for seven months now.
    “During this time we have collected in excess of 260 pounds of medication. By doing this, we feel that we are helping prevent them from entering our water supply and the hands of children and adults who should not have them.
    “With the help and support of all the people living in the Rolla area, the Rolla Police Department is expecting these numbers to increase. The drop box is available for your use 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Come on in and dispose of your unused medication. Let us help!”
    This next entry is from Animal Control Supervisor John Redshaw, who writes: “The City of Rolla Animal Control is starting to receive calls on nuisance pigeons. These pigeons are opportunistic and persistent birds. Once they pick a place they like, they tend to return year after year.
    “Continuous visitation by these nuisance birds can end up causing damage to property not to mention, a copious amount of droppings that they leave behind. They seem to nest everywhere — roofs, signs, under eaves, ledges, etc. It is possible to bird-proof these areas but it may take several attempts to repel these unwanted visitors.
    “Unfortunately, the City of Rolla Animal Control does not have a simple answer on how to repel these birds. In addition, we do not really respond to pigeon calls except if a couple of them happen to get inside your home or business.
    “In this case, Animal Control would respond to attempt to capture them or try to direct them toward an open window. A few ideas that may help in discouraging pigeons from roosting or nesting:
    1. Seal all openings, such as under eaves, holes, in signs, etc., so they are unable to get in.
    2. Hang reflective tape that flashes different colors when reflected by the sun around areas where pigeons may frequently hang out. Even old CDs may work in discouraging them.
    3. Place bird netting over roof tops using some sort of post at the corners. Some bird netting is light in color and hard to see so that it isn't obvious. The netting will have to cover the entire area that you are trying to protect and surround it so that pigeons can't get underneath.
    Page 3 of 4 - 4. Try placing an ultrasonic noise maker in the area to frighten the birds away. Some of these devices actually mimic the pigeon's distress call and warn other pigeons not to land there.
    5. A falcon is the pigeon's natural enemy. They also sell some noise-making devices which sound like a falcon, which may work well.
    “Also, the Internet has many other bird/pigeon deterrents available. Some are inexpensive and others are more expensive. You may have to try several things before finding the right one. Being as persistent as the pigeons is the key.”
    In closing, I wanted to mention that we held an impromptu meeting this week with our school crossing guards. The crossing guards are hired by the Rolla Police Department and Rolla Public Schools to ensure that our student pedestrians are safe when crossing busy intersections coming to and from school.
    The crossing guards are stationed at Mark Twain Elementary School, the intersection of Salem and Soest Roads, the intersection of Soest Road and Pine Tree Road, and at Truman Elementary School.
    We asked our guards to report any unsafe acts by either the students or motorists traveling through their areas. The guards reported that motorists have driven right through marked crosswalk lanes with the guard displaying the stop sign and students crossing.
    They also reported motorists failing to yield to the guard and sign while making a right turn on red and designated crosswalks. Some guards reported school students disregarding crossing guard direction and crossing diagonally (jaywalking) at intersections against traffic flow.
    If you are a motorist, please remember that once the crossing guard has displayed his stop sign and entered the crosswalk, it is a violation for motorists to enter the intersection until the guard and all crossing students have cleared the crosswalk and have arrived on the curb/sidewalk.
    The crosswalk guards have a very important and difficult position in that they are there to make sure students are safe when crossing in designated crosswalks.
    If you are a student or a parent of a student that utilizes these crossings, make sure you and your students know that they are not to enter an intersection until instructed by the crossing guard.
    The posted speed limit is 20 mph in designated school zones during the times students are traveling to and from school. Please obey these limits and use caution when driving in these areas.
    Also pay close attention to warning signs such as “No Left Turn” and “No Right Turn on Red” warnings as they too are there for student safety.
    All of us working together on this matter ensures our students’ safety. Our patrol officers will be monitoring these areas and will be quick to act on violations that are unsafe.
    Page 4 of 4 - Have a great week!
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