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Sheriff’s View #30 for July 20 to 24, 2009
Sheriff’s View #30 for July 20 to 24, 2009

Sheriff J.B. King
Welcome back for another shot of information about the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office. We had a busy week with a lot of action. The third floor of the courthouse had several trials but for once we did not have to assist very much. We did have a minute of panic in one section of the courthouse when a two-year old child found the hidden panic alarm button and gave it a strong push.

We assisted the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Troop I Marijuana Eradication team with an operation in the 29000 block of Route AB near Laquey that uncovered a large marijuana growing operation. We assisted the federal postal inspectors with another case and that investigation remains ongoing at this time. We handed off a number of our inmates to other agencies such as the Comanche County Oklahoma Sheriff’s Office.

Our case number/calls for service count as of 12:20pm on July 18 stands at 5,185. Our numbers continue to keep falling and that is very fortunate because we are way short on people right now.

In order to give you an idea, I will do a listing of the people we are short. As we all know, we lost two deputies in the 2009 budget process. In the last three weeks we have lost two more that have left the department. We have one that tells us he is leaving and he is probably working his final two weeks right now. We have one deputy out on extended sick leave, one on annual military leave and one on a long vacation period. Right now it is a struggle to keep two deputies on duty for each shift. We are racking up quite a bit of overtime that will surface some day and blast the budget into shreds, but that will be another day.

I know that I have said this before, but our manpower totals are way short of what we need to do an adequate job for the citizens of Pulaski County. But I also realize that county law enforcement has never been a priority of the Pulaski County Commissioners. It will take a concentrated action movement by the citizens of Pulaski County to change that fact of life and so far I do not see much concern from the citizens of the county.

The bottom line is that we will do the best we can with what are given to work with and we hope that our efforts will keep the criminal wolf away from the door. But we also know that it will only be a matter of time before the criminal wolf huffs and puffs and blows the house down.

Our inmate count today stands at a total of 50. That is a drop from last week but I am sure the count will go up again soon. The jail has quite an ebb and flow of inmates on a daily basis and the count changes frequently.

The good news here is that at the mid point of the year, the inmate board bill looks good. The board bill is the single biggest expense that we have and when we go over on the board bill the entire budget is in trouble. Our bill so far this year seems to be doing OK and I hope that continues.

The inmate medical and food bill look bad. The inmate medical bill appears to be taking a hard hit this year. In the 2008 budget we had spent a total (from memory hope to be accurate) of over $81,000 for inmate medical. For the 2009 budget they gave us $55,000 to cover medical and at the mid point of the year we have already used $41,000, so I think I can safely predict that we will be over our assigned budget this year and much closer to last year’s totals.

Our car expense totals also look fairly good at this point. Between our shortage of deputies on duty and the falling gas prices we might even make it under budget this year for auto expense.

There are a few other areas that I would like to report on but it seems that I left the paperwork at the office and my memory will not retrieve the figures so that I might give them to you. There is an old joke about getting older and the first thing to go is your ... well I cannot remember what we lose first.

Since my memory has departed, maybe I should close out now for this week. Once again I will ask that you drive with care and keep your actions legal. We do not want your jail business but if you must visit the jail we did pay the electric bill and the lights are on.

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