I-Team Extra: Losing City Limits - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

I-Team Extra: Losing City Limits

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The police chiefs of Cape Girardeau, Sikeston, and Poplar Bluff sit down. The police chiefs of Cape Girardeau, Sikeston, and Poplar Bluff sit down.
They map out what they call a new approach to crime, that doesn't have a city limit. They map out what they call a new approach to crime, that doesn't have a city limit.
I'm told you will see this new partnership continue to grow as the year progresses I'm told you will see this new partnership continue to grow as the year progresses
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SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - Cape Girardeau's new Police Chief, Wes Blair, told us back in December about the rash of violent crimes he'd seen involving people without a Cape Girardeau address.

 Veterans Drew Juden of Sikeston and Danny Whiteley of Poplar Bluff know that problem all too well.

So all three men agreed recently to meet with me in Sikeston to map out what they call a new approach to crime, that doesn't have a city limit.

"We all have a set of rules we have to play by", Sikeston DPS Chief Drew Juden tells his colleagues from Cape Girardeau and Poplar Bluff, "They have no rules", he says of the criminals. "They recognize no boundaries, whether it is city limits, county lines, or state lines."

And with that, the top cops in three of Southeast Missouri's biggest communities decide they need to do away with those limits too.

As Bluff Chief Danny Whiteley points out, the communities have a host of common denominators.

"The dopers, and Internet child porn, and all kinds of things that go on invariably, they're going to have a tie with Cape, Sikeston or Poplar Bluff", Whiteley said.

"You know, I absolutely agree with you", Cape Girardeau Chief Wes Blair says of Whiteley's observations. "My criminals are your criminals, are your criminals", Blair says pointing next to Juden. "And they are not staying in one spot."

The departments do have a new tool in the battle to cross jurisdictions through technology.

There is now a Southeast Missouri portal of MIAC, the Missouri Information Analysis Center.

The SEMO portal's only been up for two months, but it's already been put to good use.

Recently, Juden received this message on the murder of Cape Girardeau resident Marsha Ann Brown.

Suspect Brandon Banks has Sikeston ties.

"So, this information was broadcast and put out shortly after the homicide and gave us the Intel to start looking for this individual", Juden explains.

This meeting also unveils some surprising numbers.

While Cape Girardeau's the biggest city with 39,000 people, it has just 75 commissioned officers, six less than Sikeston, a town of just 16,500.

It's no secret Sikeston has the toys, a mobile command center, the bomb squad's robot, and a brand new multi-million dollar building.

At 17,000 people, Bluff has a 44 person department, and is home to the region's Cyber Crimes Task Force.

As the new chief in town, Blair says he's anxious to take advantage of a more regional partnership.

"So often you see jurisdictional and territorial fights even among police agencies and law enforcement agencies", Blair observes. "And it just doesn't exist here in southeast Missouri."

But as Chief Juden points out, it's not just the departments that have to buy into this new approach.

"It also requires that you have to get buy in from your politicians, from the city council, and everybody else because you're going to be expending funds into maybe another jurisdiction."

One immediate move the departments will make-assigning a liaison officer for each department, who can act as a go-between when one department needs the other's help.

And, I'm told you will see this new partnership continue to grow as the year progresses.

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