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Crocker police explain brand new patrol cars, mutual aid to sheriff

CROCKER, Mo. (Dec. 2, 2010) — Police cars in Crocker are often secondhand vehicles purchased from other departments or in some cases even donated by other departments. Late-model patrol cars aren’t typical in Crocker.

“We’ve had several questions from the general public reference to our 2010 Dodge Charger police vehicle and rumors of our 2011 Ford Expedition,” Police Chief Stephen North told aldermen at Thursday night’s city council meeting. “We’ve had a lot of questions about it, how we obtained it, and what funds were used … I would remind everybody that those have been purchased with grant money and is no cost to the city of Crocker.”

North said he expects the 2011 Ford Expedition to arrive in January.

Additional grant funds are currently being sought for adding a school resource officer to the Crocker Police Department with an assignment to the Crocker school. North said that’s an important response to trends he’s seen since coming to the city slightly more than a year ago.

“We have had an increase in juvenile-related calls,” North said. “I wouldn’t say an alarming rate, but we have met with the parents, school district and juvenile officials on multiple occasions in attempts to remedy the issues.”

One example of juvenile problems in Pulaski County has been “pill parties” in which young people obtain prescription drugs from various sources and use them illicitly.

“I think we are all guilty of having medications (in) our medicine cabinets at home, and some of these kids may be getting a hold of them and having various parties. If we can keep some of them out of the kids’ hands we will be doing ourselves justice for that,” North said.

North said he’s contacted the Drug Enforcement Administration and verified that they have a program allowing police departments to accept prescription medications turned in by area residents.

“They come out, pick them up and destroy them … it’s something we can do to hopefully get some of the medications off the street,” North said. “Currently many people have various forms of prescription and over-the-counter medications and they do keep them for years. Individuals commonly flush the medications which can pollute the waterways.”

In his routine report, North said his officers have responded to numerous drug and assault cases, as well as an increasing number of car-deer crashes on Highway 17 near the south end of the city, and said 11 assists to other agencies made last month a typical month.

Mayor Linda Wilson wanted more details on how many of those calls were requests for assistance from the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department.

“About how many callouts do you get, say in a month’s period, from county?”Wilson asked.

North wasn’t sure but provided an estimate.

“This is off the top of my head, probably every other day, every third day, we’ll get at least one call sometimes they will double up or triple up. It all depends on what happens,” North said.

Wilson asked North to provide statistics on those calls.

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