Police provide support for Bushwhacker Days

Friday, June 3, 2005

By Steve Moyer

Nevada Daily Mail

Local law enforcement officers are preparing to do their part to help Bushwhacker Days go smoothly for everyone.

"Parking may be even more congested than usual because we are blocking more streets," Nevada Police Chief Christine Keim said.

For example, "Last year Cherry was open half a block away from the Square but this year it will be closed a whole block."

Keim said there were some important do's and don'ts people should keep in mind when parking their cars.

"Don't park on private property without the owner's permission," Keim said. "Don't block fire hydrants. Don't block others in. This year, at the health fair, we had several people who were blocked in by people who didn't pay attention to how their parking affected others."

Keim emphasized there are some things that could get a car towed. "Don't move orange cones. They're where they are for a reason," Keim said. "Someone moving orange cones to park could find themselves subject to being towed."

The police department is going to have to have all available officers on hand for the event and will change their scheduling as well.

"We have two officers off because of injuries and we're losing an officer who is quitting, so we're short on personnel," Keim said. "We'll change the schedule to eight hour shifts instead of 10. That will give us more officers on hand. There won't be any vacations and there may not be any days off."

In addition to the police department the Missouri State Highway Patrol is lending an officer to help out and the police will coordinate with the Vernon County Sheriff's Office to provide enough security for the event. "Gary Herstein usually coordinates with the sheriff's office," Keim said. "We'll have our bike patrols out and they will be able to respond quickly to situations that may come up."

The newest addition to the department may make some appearances at Bushwhacker Days but they will be short.

"Our canine officer will probably be out and about during Bushwhacker also," Keim said. "We probably won't keep him out long though, it's suggested to minimize his exposure to large crowds until he gets a little more maturity and seasoning."

One event planned during the celebration will involve some of the re-enactors going to Deepwood Cemetery for the dedication of the memorial for Captain Alfred Cummins, which may entice a portion of the crowd to move down there as well, which could complicate traffic.

"We might move the bicycle patrol down there during that to help things," Keim said. "I don't think it will be too difficult to manage."

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