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Christiansen Appointed Chief: In a special session of the Lake Ozark Board of Aldermen held on January 5, 2023, Mr. Jeff Christiansen wasappointed with a unanimous vote to serve as the city’s next Police Chief. Christiansen comes to the city with over 27 years of professional law enforcement experience, most recentlyserving the citizens of Linn Creek, Missouri as their Police Chief. Prior to his work in Linn Creek, Christiansenspent 26 years at the DuPage County, Illinois Sheriff’s Office, progressing through their patrol and detectivedivisions, and eventually serving as a Sergeant within their civil division and accreditation and trainingprograms. His professional service includes volumes of experience in training and development, grants, patrolfunctions, accreditation, and supervision. He possesses a BA and MS in criminal social justice from Lewis University, and is a 2012 graduate of theNorthwestern University School of Police Staff and Command. While working for the DuPage CountySheriff’s Office, Christiansen also worked as an adjunct instructor at Aurora University for a period of 15 years,where he was a founding member of their criminal justice advisory board. He has worked at the College ofDuPage as a GED instructor and coordinator as well. He has also has years of experience as an accreditationmanager, trainer, and contractor for a series of coroners’ offices in Illinois. Outside of his professional experiences, Christiansen is a co-founder of Celebrate Differences, which is a notfor-profit supporting people with disabilities and their families. He has extensive involvement with the specialneeds community for the past 18 years, also co-founding the A Pinch of Happiness Spice Shop in Camdenton,Missouri. During his appointment, Christiansen stated that he was “looking forward to getting started soon and tocontinue the work of making the agency better. I am excited to work with the officers, dispatchers, board anddepartment heads to make progress, and appreciate the thorough and well-vetted hiring process.”At the meeting, Mayor Newberry thanked the members of the hiring committee that helped to identifyChristiansen as the next Police Chief. Christiansen will be sworn into the role at the Board of Aldermenmeeting on January 10, 2023 at 6:00 P.M.

TEST TW WEATHER

Vehicles towed after motorists ignore No Parking signs

Several motorists ignored clearly posted No Parking signs during a recent event in Lake Ozark and their vehicles were towed.

The Shootout on the Strip Meet and Greet held Aug. 25 closed Bagnell Dam Blvd. (The Strip) from School Road to near Bagnell Dam. As a result, dozens of parking spaces were lost to the event and motorists were able to park outside the closed area on Bagnell Dam Blvd., in two large church parking lots, two parking lots at nearby School of the Osage facilities, and in a spacious area below Bagnell Dam Blvd. owned by Ameren Missouri. Shuttles were available throughout the day.

Despite those alternative parking areas, 13 motorists opted to ignore No Parking signs along Valley Road which is a service road parallel to Bagnell Dam Blvd. It’s often used as an alternative route when The Strip is closed to thru traffic. Ultimate towing cost could be between $200 and $300. Lake Ozark Police Department officers did not issue any tickets so there was no revenue for the city.

“Valley Road has been posted No Parking for many years,” Police Chief Gary Launderville said after the vehicles were towed. “It’s obvious our visitors didn’t take our ordinances seriously and thought our officers would turn a blind eye. We don’t operate our department that way.”

In addition to permanent, year-round No Parking signs, the city adds temporary signs during special events to warn motorists.

Valley Road is narrow and winding. Parking in the No Parking areas reduces the width of the road to one-way and creates a safety hazard for other motorists. It’s especially serious for emergency vehicles, Chief Launderville said.  

“We always welcome visitors to our community and encourage our residents to shop and eat locally,” Launderville said. “But we have to maintain a semblance of order for the safety of everyone. We simply can’t and won’t tolerate such an obvious violation of the law.”

The next big event for Lake Ozark and the lake area is BikeFest Sept. 15-19. While there is no official closing of streets, there will be thousands of recreational motorcycle enthusiasts and visitors and parking is expected to be a premium. 

Launderville said the same enforcement will apply at all future events as well.