Chief Fagan of the Rolla Police Department gives us a really good wrap-up of 2017 and what they want to accomplish for 2018.

What are some of the biggest challenges from your perspectives, or from the perspective of your organization as a whole? How do you feel this was overcome?

In 2017, the Rolla Police Department was struggling with the opioid epidemic that has not only reached the City of Rolla, but throughout the entire nation. The Police Department responded to numerous calls for overdoses, many of which ended up in fatalities. To combat this crisis, with the assistance of the Phelps County Regional Medical Center, the Officers of the Rolla Police Department have received extensive training in overdose recognition. All Officers were trained in the use of and issued Narcan to be used in the event of an overdose. In the first two weeks of the officers receiving this life saving drug, three people who would have been overdose fatalities, were saved. In addition to this, this, the South Central Drug Task force has been actively working to reduce the influx of opiates into the Rolla Area.

On the same line of thinking, what were the biggest accomplishments in your estimation? What contributed to them?

In 2016 / 2017, all Rolla Police Officers, including all Supervisory and Command personnel
received 40 hours of training in Crisis Intervention. The purpose of Crisis Intervention training is to equip the Officers with the skills to assist people with mental illnesses, co-occurring disorders, substance abuse, developmental disorders or brain disorders who are in crisis, thereby advancing public safety and reducing stigma. With this Crisis Intervention training, the Police Department can ensure the person in crisis receives treatment rather than jail. The officer’s avoid unnecessary force by being able to recognize a mental illness or other behavioral health disorders, and ensuring that the Officers have the skills to de-escalate a person in crisis.

What are you most looking forward to in 2018? What can readers and residents look forward

In 2018, the Rolla Police Department will start an Accreditation Process with the State of
Missouri. Accreditation is a voluntary, internal process by which the Police Department will
seek to achieve, objectively verify, and maintain high quality in our operations through periodic evaluations conducted by an independent, non-governmental body that has established standards for those agencies that participate in the process. Accreditation will signify that we have met specific standards of excellence and operates according to best practices established by practitioners in the public safety field. Accreditation will compel the Rolla Police Department to operate within specific guidelines and adopt policies and procedures that meet accepted practices. This Accreditation Process is a management model and a blueprint for self-improvement, which strengthens accountability within the Rolla Police Department and to the City of Rolla.