EDWARDSVILLE - A new commander for the Cross River Crime Task Force was named Wednesday in the lobby of the Madison County Administration Building in Edwardsville.
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Major Jeff Connor has led the Cross-River Crime Task Force comprised of law enforcement officials from federal, state, county, and local agencies for the past year.
As he steps into the role of Madison County Sheriff, a new commander was unanimously chosen to lead the task force with the goal of combining resources and manpower to protect Madison County from criminals who cross state lines to commit violent crimes.
Granite City Police Department's Assistant Chief Nick Novacich was announced on Wednesday as the new Commander of the Cross River Task Force.
Novacich's deputy commanders will be Madison County Sheriff's Office Capt. Brian Koberna and Alton Police Department Capt. John Franke. On a steering committee for the Cross River Crime Task Force will be Pontoon Beach Police Chief Chris Modrusic, Alton Deputy Police Chief Jarrett Ford, Wood River Police Chief Brad Wells, and Collinsville Police Chief Steve Evans.
The goal of the Task Force as the basis for future action, states: “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.”
Novacich said he was honored at the selection to be the commander of the Cross-River Crime Task Force. He also thanked those who will be his deputy commanders and those on the Cross River Crime Task Force steering committee, which is newly created.
Connor said it was an honor to serve in the commander capacity from the beginning of the new group in 2021. Madison County State's Attorney Thomas Haine said he believes Novacich is a solid choice for the new role and looks forward to some of his innovative ideas. He also said he believes the task force has been very successful since it was formed.
Madison County Sheriff John Lakin said he believes the task force has had an impact under Connor's leadership and he added that Novacich will follow in good fashion with his innovative approach to fighting crime.
The task force will investigate car thefts, homicides, shootings, and much more that have cross-river implications in Illinois and Missouri.
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