By Nicole Rogers
OWEN-WITHEE - The O-W Police Committee met on March 1. All members were in attendance along with new member Gary Gehrke who replaced Gordy Niemi. Chief Fehlman and Officer Haugstad updated the committee on incidents, equipment, and evidence room updates.
February Incident Report
Haugstad distributed the February Incident Report. It was noted that nine separate sexual assault cases were investigated. The officers investigated thefts at the O-W High School on Feb. 18 and 24. Chief reported that all the stolen property was found and returned to the proper owner. On Feb. 21 they responded to a dumpster fire at S. Harding St.
Mercury Clean Up
On Feb. 21 help was needed to clean up a hazardous materials spill at E. 5th St. Current owners the Wrights purchased this property from Bill and Sandy Nyre. This was not known by the Nyres. While doing construction on this older home, over 100 pounds of mercury was discovered inside a wall that was opened up. One of the 11 jars fell and mercury spread throughout the room.The owners had to evacuate the premise so it could be properly cleaned. The OW School is taking a collection for the family to help with the cost of clean up and displacement. Much speculation has arouse to how someone would acquire so mercury and why it would be stored in their home. No one could answer this mystery.
Evidence Room Organization
Chief explained that they have been busy organizing nearly25,000 individual cases that are in the old police station. The files need to be coordinated with any evidence the department may have.
Chief currently began making the rounds to all local businesses in Owen and Withee. He wishes to introduce himself and gather contact information and perhaps keys if the business would like the OWPD to keep a copy. Fehlman said we have many keys in the office but they are not labeled. He would like to also get these items organized. And to aid in the organization, he requested three new desks that would have room to work multiple cases and have book shelves and drawers. The council approved purchasing two new desks, one for the Chief and one for Haugstad.
Some agenda items for the next meeting will be the teamster contract, call report and discussion on getting a part-timer. The next meeting will be held at the Owen Library at 6 p.m.
The Sentinel & Rural News covers the news and events of Clark County and southern Taylor County, as well as regional news that affects those areas.