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Chaffee council sticks to business

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Watch video of Chaffee Mayor Loretta Mohorc discuss city business

CHAFFEE, Mo. -- "Mud thrown is ground lost."

(Photo)
Chaffee Mayor Loretta Mohorc, far right, discussed city business Monday with the city council including Councilman Tom Cunningham, left, and city attorney David Summers, at Chaffee City Hall.
(Fred Lynch)
That's on the sign for Calvary Baptist Church on Yoakum Street in Chaffee.

It could have been the theme of the Chaffee City Council's meeting Monday. No one talked directly about the city council's failed impeachment vote at a Feb. 6 closed meeting. No one complained about the police department the way they did on Feb. 4, which sparked the closed meeting.

Though somewhat restrained, the elected officials maintained a positive tone. They universally praised the city's response to last week's ice storm, particularly the teamwork between police and firefighters.

Forty people sat watching the city council review its business. The Florsheim building was appraised at $240,000. The police department has advertised for a patrolman and a dispatcher.

Police chief Jesse Chisum told the board he has put cell phones in three cruisers and provided the numbers to the city clerk. Officers will get training in the field and on writing reports; classes on grant writing and responding to active shooters is also in the department's future.

Chisum said his officers made 62 traffic stops since the first of the month, issued nine citations, responded to 15 calls for service and wrote 26 reports. Officers also cited two people for driving while intoxicated and made two warrant arrests. They responded to six domestic calls.

City Clerk Diane Eftink reported gas bills for city vehicles: $1,597.74 for police and $622.07 for public works.

David Summers, the city attorney, advised council members they would likely be disappointed in the cost of trying to recoup payment for the fire department's six trips to SEMO Genetics. The calls, mostly false alarms, left the city at risk and took four volunteer firefighters from their paid jobs, said fire captain Sam Glency.

He and Lt. Doug Sutterfield said they would talk to the company again. The city will also send a letter asking for payment.

The firefighters said the city's new ambulance has been tuned up but needs painting. They have not been able to find a building with a 9-foot door and some heat to rent for the two days they need to paint.

Councilman Tom Cunningham reminded everyone to turn in budget information by the first week of March so the city's budget can be approved by April 1.

Councilwoman Alice McFerron, who represents Ward 2, said she'd received a complaint about people using city trash bins for their own trash. Councilman Jack Nordin responded that he had done that recently with trash from one of his rental homes.

"If they pay a tax bill, they should be able to use it," he said. Councilman Leon Stricklin said he was concerned that farmers from outside the city were using the containers. The council agreed that, as long as the sanitation department is informed in advance, taxpaying residents can use the containers.

Stricklin said the city needs to get siren heads properly hooked up before tornado season.

After they adjourned, Cunningham said he was "tickled to death we had a good meeting tonight."

Mayor Loretta Mohorc was greeted and hugged by friends.

"At this time, it appears everything has worked out for the better of the city," said Councilman Bill Dysinger.

Loretta Hicks Below watched the meeting. She had no problem with the council's agreement on the use of city trash bins, "as long as it's across the board."

pmcnichol@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127


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Just a question, and maybe I read it wrong and didn't understand, but 62 traffic stops made by the police but only 9 citations? Does this mean that 53 traffic stops were made where no laws were broken? If so, why were they pulled over in the first place?

-- Posted by FreedomFadingFast on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 6:29 AM

Watch 'em, Rhetta!!!

-- Posted by grewupthere2 on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 6:48 AM

Librule

most traffic stops result in a warning.

-- Posted by leviwarfield on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 7:09 AM

Hey , at least the trash bizzness will be picking up ....it's good to see everyone sit down and play nice again ..

Bloody

-- Posted by ..Rick on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 7:35 AM

oh yeah , where do i sign-up for some of those warnings ....

-- Posted by ..Rick on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 7:39 AM

Levi is right. Imagine if cops wrote tickets to every person they stopped. No police dept. does that. If Chaffee did, then everyone would really be complaining. It seems to me that the cops can't win no matter how they handle the situation. Write the ticket = complain.......Don't write the ticket = complain.....For some, the only solution seems to be for the cops to just say "whatever, do what you want." I live in Chaffee, and I sure hope they don't.

-- Posted by youknowwhat on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 7:41 AM

librule, why dont you race through Chaffee and find out, let them alone, they're just doing the job they were hired to do. Let Chaffee rest.

-- Posted by changedname on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 7:59 AM

No when the cops just don't do anything people complain then too. Remember the Ivan McClain days or the Jeff Womack days when the police department sat on its hands and people were complaining about the speeding? No matter what they do there will be complaints. So long as there are complaints there will be some reporter writing stories and selling papers. This is a fact of life we are going to have to deal with. There have been times where it didn't get the attention it gets now but its always been there in this and every other town.

-- Posted by leviwarfield on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 8:17 AM

Make no mistake it is not over--there will be repercussions for all the hoopla. They are just trying to get the attention to go away. If you really want to see a mess go to the court session where they deal with the DWI's.

-- Posted by happygirl2 on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 8:45 AM

I moved to Chaffee from out of state and have lived here for 2 years now. I'm a married 28 year old who has a lead foot. Yes, i've been pulled over a few times in Chaffee for not following the law. Am I upset at the Chaffee Police? NO! I should have payed more attention to my driving. Let them do their job! When they stop doing their job then I'll complain a little or just move.

-- Posted by ChafRes on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 9:06 AM

librule

It doesn't mean a law wasn't broken or suspected of being broken, it means that 53 people were given a second chance. I'd say that's good odds. It's probably people like you that are complaining anyway. If I were a cop in Chaffee I'd put your name on a list in my patrol car and FOR SURE give you a ticket!!

-- Posted by taxpayer on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 9:15 AM

dexterite, taxpayer

Are you both illiterate? Try rereading the post. I wasn't complaining in the least, was just asking a question. It was answered. I could care less about Chaffee and it's police. They can put me on their list all they want. I drive within the law, so I'm not worried about it.

-- Posted by FreedomFadingFast on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 9:33 AM

Frankly speaking I would say there is a lot of harrasment going on down there in Chaffee.

Those of you who think 62 so called traffic stops is reasonable and only 9 citations written are allowing some wool to be pulled over your head!Sorry folks from Chaffe,you have a very nice town but your police department abuses its power and needs much more training in how to serve and protect!

I know this post will not be well taken from some of you who don't give a rats butt about civil liberties.

-- Posted by GREYWOLF on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 9:55 AM

Librule,

I think it was a legitimate question. I am fully aware of the proper use of Officer Discretion and that a significant number of stops result in a verbal warning, but the ratio "seems" a little off. Maybe it's not and it may be well in line with other departments, but it doesn't hurt to ask. A legitimate question should not be construed as an attack.

-- Posted by D'oh on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 10:05 AM

sounds to me like there has been a gag order placed back on the city of chaffee....you are right when you say it isnt over..just give it time and noone involved should let their guard down cause i am sure that is when the knives will start coming out again

-- Posted by blogger518 on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 10:19 AM

Usually I agree with Grey Wolf . . today I guess I would have to go with the Col Jessup - paraphrased "I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very (protection) that (law enforcement officers) provide, and then questions the manner in which (they) provide it! I would rather you just said, "Thank you," and went on your way."

-- Posted by one4kids on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 10:19 AM

ONE4KIDS,

As I said,my post would not be popular.Now,as for your statement about me rising and sleeping.As an American Citizen and a Veteran of a foreign war,your dang right I will question the police when I think they have too much power and my civil liberties are abused.

-- Posted by GREYWOLF on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 10:52 AM

Greywolf

So how many times have you been pulled over in Chaffee and felt that your liberties were abused? PS thanks for serving.

-- Posted by leviwarfield on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 11:19 AM

Levi,

I believe you can tell from my previous post that I am not living in Chaffee.I am however

aware of what I have read and what I have heard from 2 of my close friends who do live in Chaffee.They have told me that the police down there will pull you over for just looking suspicious!This is not to mention the post I have read from several who live in Chaffee who's statements are in line with what I have said here.

-- Posted by GREYWOLF on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 11:26 AM

I was pulled over by a Police officer in Chaffee right in front of My house. It was 2:00 am I had just got off work came into town. He was polite informed me that I had been speeding (and I was) He ask where I came from, ran a check for warrents and let me go. A friend of mine was stopped and also let go. She was looking at a house for sale and swerved. The officer stopped and checked to make sure she wasn't drunk. I think if the truth be known most peole were doing something that caused them to be stopped and were let go. At least I can say Chaffee police enforce the traffic laws. Drive through Cape and see how many traffic laws are broken right in front of cops and they do nothing

-- Posted by simmonsmo26 on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 11:47 AM

How on eart can the cops make 62 stops and write only 9 citations?! That's purely stopping people for no reason. This isn't communist Russia, and Chisum can't stop and shake down whoever he feels like. Somebody should file a complaint with the MO Atty. General's Office. That's absurd to put it kindly. Who does Chisum think he is, and what country does he think he's living in? Soldiers aren't dying in Irag so that garbage like that can go on at home.

-- Posted by heye1967 on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 11:52 AM

Simmonsmo26,

you were speeding!You were stopped for that reason.If you were not ticketed you were lucky.My point is for those stops that are made with no reasonable cause!As I understand things,it happens often in Chaffee.As for swerving,if your not drunk and or under the influence of something,why would you swerve unless trying to avoid an obsticle in your path?This would be stupid and result in a possible careless and imprudent ticket.

-- Posted by GREYWOLF on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 11:53 AM

Ohh God! Elect these idiots out of office!

-- Posted by Snoops_Malone on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 12:17 PM

If memory serves correctly Chaffee schools were left a few million dollar$ couple years ago was it ever recieved??? Where is the story there, surely some good will or is coming out of the mans generosity any one have a clue on this???

-- Posted by prideful on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 12:25 PM

Why is the conversation focused only on the police? Why do we not focus on what the council saw as their reason for attempting impeachment? (Note: I don't care to argue this either...I am just making a point that the police dept. is not the only issue here).

The way I see it, if you were given a warning for a traffic infraction, count yourself lucky. The police presence is out there to deter crimes (and yes even rampant traffic violations). I know that my car hasn't been broken into under this new guy's supervision. A small town department can't write a ticket for every stop--or as you see there would be mutiny for sure. However, police can stop you to give a warning. From what I have seen around town, these warnings have worked because people are not speeding nearly as much.

Besides the new chief puts the entire police report in the Signal every two weeks. When has that ever happened before?

-- Posted by youknowwhat on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 12:33 PM

Heye1967

So you believe that they give too many warnings? Your kidding right? But aren't you the guy that was ticked off because of the money spent giving a fallen soldier a road closing procession?

Greywolf

I live in Chaffee, always have always will except for a short (7 years) in the Air Force. I drive everyday everywhere I go. I see the officers more now than I have in years (thank you guys). While I will admit that I drive a little slower than the average bear so my experiance may not be the absolute median, I have not been pulled over in Chaffee in twenty years. That is my experience. I worked in law enforcement some years back but I don't know any of these kids today and they don't know me. When dealing with small town politics preception is much more important that facts. A very vocal few (>25) are upset because they are having a hard time driving from one of our local drinking establishments to their homes without getting caught. Spend a little time in the Elks and you'll hear all about it. I don't have a problem living in a policed community. I also don't have a problem with the number of warnings given. It would be a little high for me if I were running things but I'm not and I think we ought to let the Chief be a Chief. Those are his decisions. I just wish folks would leave Chaffee alone for a while and allow us to sort things out ourselves. Every year anybody who wants to can run for council and vote their will including who they want for Chief. Thats democracy.

-- Posted by leviwarfield on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 3:18 PM

Levi,I agree in part with all you say.

However,stopping 63 motorist in one month

for speeding or some other infraction is not realistic.There are 3000 or less citizens in your town.Now lets assume there are 1500 license drivers.This means that 1/4 of the citizens in and around Chaffee were pulled over for one reason or another within 30 days.I just have a problem with that.Are they really writing

warnings,or are they looking for something else?You must admitt that something is fishy

in Chaffee.

-- Posted by GREYWOLF on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 3:46 PM

Wolf

Your math might be a little off. 63 of 1500 is 4.3% In a months time. Thats basically two vehicle stops per day in a town of 3,000. I really don't think thats high at all. To get to 1/4 they would have to pull over 375 drivers per month. That would be high in my estimation. That is also assuming they are only Chaffee people.

-- Posted by leviwarfield on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 4:13 PM

Levi, you are right there. Two cars per day on average.....in my opinion fewer stops than that would mean they are turning a blind eye. You are also right about the reason some are so frightened (and I mean this literally). If you have been watching the police report in the Signal, you will see how many DWI convictions have been taking place. I think you hit the root of this entire problem.

-- Posted by youknowwhat on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 5:47 PM

Again, I urge anyone who feels they were unlawfully detained to file a suit against the Chaffee P.D. What? No suits have been filed? Just a bunch of whiners? Alright then...

-- Posted by just_winky on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 6:29 PM

Like I said before the police are damned if they do and damned if they dont. I cant believe that people are complaining about recieving a warning. Maybe the police are being nice realizing that Chaffee is a small town and they are not here to write everyone tickets but just to make them aware they have some minor issues with either their driving habits or their vehicle. Im sure the officers hopefully dont read this junk, you complainers may realize your warning will go as quickly as you drive.

As for the comment about the 53 illegal traffic stops, just because you got a warning does not mean you did not break the law. Haven't you ever watched COPS. The police department is trying to get another officer. Who would want to work in a town where you get bashed for doing your job. They went through school to be police officers not security guards. In the end the only ones in Chaffee who will suffer will be the LAW OBIDING CITIZENS!!!!!!

-- Posted by LAWOBIDINGCITIZEN on Thu, Feb 21, 2008, at 1:13 AM

Let me assure everyone reading this that the police force in Chaffee has been coming on very strong since the new chief was hired. I am a law abiding citizen and have lived in Chaffee all my life, I have been pulled over for an "investigative stop". I work nights and on occassion come home in the early AM. This is all and well but they don't have to be jerks about it. They act like I don't have any business being out. Just because you have the right to do something doesn't mean it is right to do it. And the way you approach situations also means alot. SOOO, If you are going to pull me over for nothing the very least you can do is be pleasant until I give you a reason not to be!

-- Posted by missypoo on Thu, Feb 21, 2008, at 1:35 AM

We may want to have someone look at this heye1967, I believe the taliban just might have insurgents in southeast missouri. More than likely he has been incarcerated at one point and time.

-- Posted by LAWOBIDINGCITIZEN on Thu, Feb 21, 2008, at 3:54 AM

missypoo

If you have been treated sooooo unfairly by the police, have you talked to the cheif or filled out a formal complaint. Let me guess.......Probably not, just like every other person who have had these misterious illegal traffic stops. Quit crying and do something about it. You may accidentally realize you are clueless.

-- Posted by LAWOBIDINGCITIZEN on Thu, Feb 21, 2008, at 3:58 AM

lawobidingcitizen

You certainly ascertain and publicly boast your adherence to "all" city laws and bylaws and we applaud your anal fortitude upon your self imposed high standing among the fine citizens of Chaffee. Now its time to climb out of your recliner and pay attention to the facts and numbers. The topic at hand is not whether law-breakers should be arrested or warned or at least pulled over. The Chaffee force should be praised for their hard work and efforts in serving and protecting its responsibilities. What is in question is "entrapment" and over patrolling". This doesn't mean the officers should be wolfing down donuts and taking catnaps in the police headquarters lobby. They should however, according to the many concerned (also law abiding) citizens, refrain from their preconceived tactics of sitting in bank parking lots waiting for patrons to leave establishments where alcohol and food is served; pulling someone over for momentarily driving on unclearly marked centerlines of roads; failed use of exercising blinkers when turning; accidental use of high beam light usage within city limits; etc. etc. etc .....

If you want a clear picture, go downtown if you can tear yourself away from the easy chair, and monitor the number of rolling stops, failure to use seatbelt restraints, non use of turn signals, speeding, unsafe use of cell phones while driving, tailgating, open packages of alcohol while driving, unmarked wide loads, littering, loitering, publicly disturbing the peace, public use and trafficking of illegal substances .... do I paint a clearer picture for you?!?

Are all these people committing these offences ALL law abiding citizens much like you propose yourself to be?

Until "ALL" citizens are treated with the respect regarding the laws of our fine town, and not a specialized faction because of their lifestyles, then your hypocritical quips and verbal diarrhea promoting the "hind-lick maneuver" of our fine police force speaks volumes of your ignorance to what is occurring right in your own backyard.

Lets get the drugs out of the schools and off the streets, the drunks off the roads and the "REAL" criminals put behind bars so that you will sleep better at night.

It wasn't that long ago in our fine town that due to overactive pursuit by an officer on our force that 2 people lost their lives, 2 others received life changing injuries and resignations and legal charges were laid.

Get off the "holier than thou" wagon train and start paying attention to the real problems that face all of us. Hyping yourself and your chosen lifestyle does nothing more than bore the rest of us non-perfect church goers.

Geesh!

-- Posted by northernrebel on Thu, Feb 21, 2008, at 4:49 PM

Northernrebel,

Your argument though well-worded is circular. You spend considerable time discussing the many trespasses that you witness that the cops are not stopping. Are we to believe then that you support the police stopping more vehicles for such offenses as you mention? But wait...I thought that "over patroling" was the issue....which is it? Pick an issue and develop it.

What establishment feels so slighted? Let me see, it is across from a bank. Ah yes, I see your issue clearly now. Refer to leviwarfield's comment below about this establishment. In high school many years ago we had a term for someone who brought us down. We referred to such individuals as "buzz kills." It seems that some individuals see our police force as "buzz kills" now that they are actually patroling at closing time on the weekends.

Your claim that they should be getting drunk driver off the road seems a bit ironic does it not. Have you not seen the number of DWI arrests in the Signal lately. Of course, you have.

-- Posted by youknowwhat on Thu, Feb 21, 2008, at 5:43 PM

I am sick and tired of hearing about that pursuit. Pursuits happen every day. That's whats wrong will complainers like yourself. A police officer has an obligation to stop potential roadway hazards, all the guy driving the car had to do was stop. It was unfortunate, however if that officer would have let them go and they killed a family down the road it would still be his fault. It does not matter if he knew who they were, the driver was still drunk and obviously had no regards to the safety of himself, the other passengers in the vehicle or other motorists. Bottom line the officer was within policy, an investigation was conducted by the highway patrol and it was deemed he did everything correctly. So find a new topic to discuss.

-- Posted by LAWOBIDINGCITIZEN on Thu, Feb 21, 2008, at 9:22 PM


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