December 6, 2001

NEMO Major Case Squad Holds Meeting In Memphis

The Scotland County Sheriff's Department hosted a recent meeting of the Northeast Missouri Major Case Squad held in Memphis November 29.

The criminal investigation unit serves 13 counties in the region, representing all aspects of law enforcement from sheriff's departments and municipal police forces, to campus public safety units, the fire marshal's office, conservation enforcement and water patrol.

The organization is made up of member enforcement offices in Adair, Clark, Knox, Lewis, Macon, Marion, Monroe, Ralls, Randolph, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby and Pike counties.

"Most law enforcement agencies in rural areas such as this are understaffed," stated Sheriff Wayne Winn. "The major case squad allows small counties or municipalities to pool manpower, equipment and most importantly experience and expertise to help solve serious crimes."

The task force was formed just for that purpose, to bring together officers from across the region to help investigate a major crime such as murder, or assault of law enforcement officer or any other crime that is deemed a serious community threat.

There are no dues to belong to the group. A member simply must complete a short training session and then provide an inventory of officers and equipment that could be made available to the task force during a time of need.

"Basically when the major case squad is activated, the board members are contacted by a member agency requesting assistance," Winn stated. "We then determine if there is a need for the task force to go to work. If that happens, each member agency is contacted and asked if they can send assistance."

The last time the squad was called into duty locally was during the investigation of the killing of the Clark County K-9 unit a few years ago.

At the Memphis meeting the members discussed a variety of upcoming training while also setting the meeting agendas for next year.

Those attending the meeting represented Truman State Public Safety Department, sheriff's departments from Knox County, Marion County, Ralls County, Clark County and Scotland County as well as police departments from Memphis, Perry, LaGrange, and Canton. The Missouri State Fire Marshal's office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol also was in attendance.

The organization also capped off a fundraiser with a raffle drawing. Brenda Grubb of LaBelle won $500 in cash. The next task force meeting will be January 24 in Edina.

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