Getting to know the ESPD


  Kody Lucas has been the Edgar Springs Chief of Police for 13 years. His nearly 18 years of law enforcement experience began with the Phelps Co. Sheriff’s Dept., where he rose from deputy to detective. Lucas has been an Under Cover Task Force Agent for the Multi County Narcotics & Violent Crimes Enforcement Unit for almost 10 years, and currently works part time as the Chief of ESPD, as a Corporate Security Advisor for Nestle/Purina, and for Allied Intelligence.
  According to Lucas, when he started at ESPD, the computers were old and didn’t want to work, there were no patrol cars, and evidence was being stored in a plastic Rubbermaid box that had a piece of evidence tape and a small luggage-type lock on it. He reports he worked with Meramec Regional Planning Commission and wrote grants for a patrol car fully equipped at no cost to the city, then another grant for a large safe to store evidence and miscellaneous equipment. Furniture was next, including desks, chairs and filing cabinets, along with new updated computers--all at no cost to the city. He also remembers being involved with coordinating a deal for the city on its first snowplow and salt truck, which were purchased from the state. Updating city ordinances pertaining to the police department and writing a Policy and Procedures manual were also tasks Lucas reports he undertook to get the department in order.
  The ESPD has two part-time officers that are paid to work 10-15 hours per week. The shifts are varied so they cannot be patterned.
  Joey Hohner is Assistant Chief and has worked for ESPD for almost six years. Prior to that, he was a deputy for almost four years for the Maries Co. Sheriff’s Dept. While patrolling Maries Co., Hohner served as a SWAT Team Member and a SWAT Team Medic. Hohner currently works full time as an EMT for the St. James Ambulance and has been serving them for almost 10 years.
  “He (Hohner) is a very proactive officer and very honest and loyal, a trait that is extremely rare today, and I am grateful to have him on my team,” states Chief Lucas.
  Patrolman T.J. Halle has been with ESPD for about four years. Prior to that, Halle was a Maries Co. Deputy where he patrolled and was a member of the SWAT Team. Halle is also a licensed EMT.
  Halle is “one of the friendliest individuals you will meet. We’re lucky to have him,” says Chief Lucas.
  Don Blankenship is a reserve officer and has been with ESPD approximately four years. Blankenship brings over 35 years of law enforcement experience to the team. Prior to working for ESPD, he was a Drug Task Force Agent and Highway Interdictor for the Franklin Co. Narcotics Unit, and was Phelps Co. Sheriff for 20 years before that. Blankenship was originally from Licking and in his earlier career; he served as a Licking City Police Officer and rose to the level of Chief of Police.
  “Don is a fine man and one of my best friends. He is also one of the reasons I am the officer I am today,” states Chief Lucas.
  Jacob Heimburger is a reserve officer for ESPD and the newest addition. He just graduated the Police Academy and started for ESPD in January.
  “Heimburger is a fine young man and eager to learn,” says Chief Lucas.
  The reserve officers are required to work 10 hours per month, but normally put in more hours than that. They are not paid and Chief Lucas expressed his appreciation for the time they put into the ESPD team.
  The ESPD utilizes an active Facebook page, to stay in touch with the citizens of Edgar Springs, and to warn of bad weather and road conditions.
  Chief Lucas identifies the drug epidemic as the biggest threat to the citizens of Edgar Springs. The ESPD has zero tolerance for drug activity and goes into action as soon as they hear of it, according to Lucas.
  Another emphasis of the ESPD has been to reduce traffic accidents inside the city limits. Lucas reports the fatality numbers are down to zero from car accidents on U.S. Hwy. 63. Prior to the emphasis on enforcement of traffic laws, there were numerous accidents at the intersection of U.S. Hwy. 63 and State Rte. M every year; including many fatality accidents.
  Chief Lucas is proud that their efforts to enforce the traffic laws have had a huge impact on saving lives on the highway in Edgar Springs.
  Lucas stated that the ESPD is there “to serve and protect…and (we) love our small city to the point that we would lay down our lives for it.”

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