Welcome aboard one more time. I hope to present you with an interesting and informative column. As I said in the very first column that I wrote back in January of 2005, my purpose is to inform the citizens of Pulaski County of the news and events that have an impact on the operation of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office. When I was first elected to the office of sheriff, I discovered that a lot people had no idea what the sheriff’s job operation covered, nor did they have a clue what our problems were. I have done my best to remedy that situation.
There are roughly 780 Missouri laws that impose a duty or responsibility on the office of sheriff. The job does get complicated at times. It is my hope that each week I can help more citizens understand the office of sheriff. After all, it in a way it is your office because you the citizens select the person who will be the sheriff.
We have news on the grant front but I am not exactly sure what news to report. It has been a fun week for the grants. On July 8, I received a message which said (short version): Congratulations, you were awarded the grant. You need to attend training to learn how to report the grant requirements, and you are responsible for those reports from March 1 to June 30 of this year. But it did not specify which grant we had been awarded.
Then on July 9, the next day, I got another E-mail which said to disregard the message from July 8, which was not intended for my office. It was all a big mistake. That was good news because I was not sure how we could win the award on July 8, but report our actions taken on the grant for the past three months.
Then on July 10, we got another message: Congratulations, you have won a grant award. But again, it did not specify which grant. So our first thought was, “Here we go again.” But it appears that this one may be the real deal. While they used an ID number for the grant award that does not match any of the grant numbers we turned in for review, one of our grants in the system did show that it had been updated on July 10, which was the same day we got the last message. So at this time we may (or may not) have been awarded $58,610 for new equipment. I will pass on the news when I get this figured out.
In other news the case number/calls for service count stands at 5,009 as of Saturday, July 11, at 1:10 p.m. We had 66 inmates on the jail roster Friday morning. We then sent seven inmates to the Missouri Department of Corrections to begin serving their sentence so that cut our numbers quickly. I believe that another county sheriff’s office picked up their inmate we had been holding. Then we gave another inmate to the Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) folks. So the ebb and flow of inmates occupying our jail was in full swing on Friday.
In last weeks column I told you that I would report this week on the status of the budget at the mid point for 2009. Unfortunately the County Clerk’s office was not able to get the main budget report done (vacation time) last week so I will have to postpone that report. They were able to complete the reports on the various funds we have, and for the most part they look good right now. We have been spending with a great deal of care from the funds since several of them had dropped to a very low balance. Over the past two months, additional revenue has been added to these funds and they are starting to look decent once again.
The next major project that I will start work on will be an application for a combination grant/loan from the United States Department of Agriculture that will enable us to purchase four used 2006 Ford Crown Victoria patrol cars from the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Since our newest car right now is a 2003 model, this would help us greatly. We have already done the background work and it has been determined that we are eligible for the grant. Now we just have to complete the paperwork and wait for approval.
I would like to mention that while I have been neck deep in the grant applications for the past few months Maj. Tom Cristoffer, our chief deputy, has also been neck deep in the middle of our vehicle problems. Thus the operation of the office has been largely in the hands of Capt. Bill Anderson. I think I can safely say we are running him into the ground of late, especially since we are now down three positions on the road. On that note, Friday, July 10, was the last day for Lt. Mike Denny who is leaving us for a bright opportunity down in Texas. We will miss him.
I believe that I have stumbled my way through another column, so once again, I will ask that you drive with care. Once again I will ask that you keep your actions legal. We do have room for you in the jail but we do not want your business. However the lights are on if you do drop in for a visit.