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Madison County State’s Attorney, Sheriff announce new Cross-River Task Force Commander

Major Nick Novacich of the Granite City Police Department was announced as the new Commander of the Cross-River Task Force by Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine and Madison County Sheriff John Lakin during an Aug. 4, 2022, press conference held in the Madison County Administration Building in Edwardsville.

Novacich is a 27-year veteran of the Granite City PD. His previously held roles in GCPD include the Narcotics Unit, Investigations Division, and Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis. Major Novacich’s nomination was unanimously approved by all responding members of the Cross-River Crime Task Force.

“We look forward to the leadership that Major Novacich is going to continue bringing to this task force,” stated Haine and Lakin. “He is very dedicated to the people he serves. We are confident he will carry on this program in a way that brings new innovative methods to proactive policing in our area.”

Novacich will replace Major Jeff Connor, current deputy sheriff for Madison County. “It was a real privilege to help start this task force, which has already had an impact fighting crime in our area,” stated Major Connor. “Now, I’m glad to hand the reigns to Major Novacich, who we all know is a perfect fit for this position. He will do great things with this Task Force as Commander.”

“It is my honor and privilege to accept this position,” Novacich stated. “As Commander, my priorities for this task force are to be proactive, use intelligence to get a step ahead of the criminals, and to work closely with our brother and sisters in law enforcement in St. Louis to learn from what is happening there. As always, we will continue the open communication between agencies.”

Major Novacich’s Deputy Commanders will be:

  • Lt. Brian Koberna, Madison County Sheriff’s Department
  • Captain John Franke, Alton Police Department

A “Steering Committee” was also identified, which will assist the Task Force in the implementation of its various tasks:

  • Chris Modrusic, Chief of Pontoon Beach Police Department
  • Brad Wells, Chief of Wood River Police Department
  • Steve Evans, Chief of Collinsville Police Department
  • Jarrett Ford, Deputy Chief of Alton Police Department

As background, the Cross-River Crime Task Force is comprised of law enforcement officials from federal, state, county, and local agencies with the goal of combining resources and workforce to protect Madison County from criminals who cross state lines to commit violent crimes.

“It is the mission of the Cross-River Crime Task Force to use joint County-wide operations to reduce crime flows into and through Madison County while working within an established electronic infrastructure (the LPR network) that was designed to balance legitimate law enforcement needs against the equally important interest in protecting individual privacy.”

The task force schedules regular patrols on a volunteer basis throughout Madison County communities and responds to license plate readers placed in Granite City and Alton bridges with hits for stolen motor vehicles, stolen license plates, and outstanding felony warrants.

For more information on the Cross River Task Force, contact Nick Novacich at nnovacich@granitecity.illinois.gov or the task force directly at crossrivercrime@co.madison.il.us.

Major Nick Novacich of the Granite City Police Department, new Commander of the Cross-River Task Force, at the podium.

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