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Sheriff’s View #37 for Sept. 7 to 11, 2009
Sheriff’s View #37 for Sept. 7 to 11, 2009

Sheriff J.B. King
Welcome aboard one more time for another trip around Pulaski County with the deputies of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office. It has been a busy week and I have a number of items to report on for today’s column. But my first words today are words of welcome for the 463rd MPs. Welcome home soldiers you were missed. I know that you have been in harm’s way for the past 15 months and I am positive the safety of home is very welcome. I am sorry to report that I did not make it to the welcome home party and I am sure it was a whole lot more fun than your goodbye event that I did manage to attend. Bottom line: Welcome home!

I was asked by a reader to do a recap of the current grant situation. We had five federal grants submitted. On the first grant, the COPS grant for two deputies, we were turned down. But this past week I had a meeting with the Osage Beach Police Chief and he had printed out the complete COPS report to find out where his department had scored. I was pleased to find out that the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office had been listed as No. 46 in Missouri with a 76.6 percent rating. The feds only funded number one through fifteen so being 46 did not help us, but it did let me know our thinking was on the mark in the way we did apply for the grant.

At this time, we have one grant for five new jail staff members still pending. If we manage to win that award you will probably hear my loud scream of joy at your house even if you live in Dixon. As for the remaining three grants we got one for $170,502 to hire three new employees, two dispatchers and one evidence room assistant. We received one grant for $58,610 for new equipment and a second equipment grant for $14,246 that we badly needed. So at this time we are looking quite good on the grant front. I have already invited our MRPC grant writer Kelly Sink-Blair to join me for a lunch celebration (and to plot our sinister thoughts toward future grants) along with her boss. This will be one time I will be overjoyed to foot the bill. After all I have $243,358 reasons to be happy so far.

We are currently working on a combination grant/low cost loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fund the purchase of five “new” patrol vehicles for the department. We are almost to the stage where I will be required to present the complete plan during an open public meeting of the Pulaski County Commission as required by the terms of the grant. So I guess I should hold any other remarks on this grant until the meeting.

A few hours ago in Crocker, I was part of the Labor Day parade. The folks in Crocker are the first to see me in my new “big boy” patrol car. While it was (and is) fun to finally have a full size car after four-and-a-half years in the compact six-cylinder Dodge, this day also had a measure of sadness. This was the last parade where Chief Robert Ishmael and I led the way. Chief Ishmael has left that position to accept a higher paying job on Fort Leonard Wood. I will admit it seems odd to make that statement about the higher paying job and not be writing about the loss of one of my employees. I would like to thank Robert for the heavy-duty help he has given the sheriff’s office over the past four years it was truly appreciated. I would like to wish you the best of luck Sir Robert for success in your new duties.

While I am on the subject of the Crocker Parade, I would like to say in my defense that I do not deliberately try to bean the young children in the head with candy. I will however admit to some deliberate throws at some older folks. So if I did bean your child, please accept my apology. As for the older folks, I am sorry I missed. But on a more positive note my jail staff was happy to hear that I nailed our jail administrator with an accurate throw. My usual parade candy target, Rep. David Day, was several hundred yards behind my vehicle today so he was safe. (Humor folks, humor...)

The jail list today had 62 names and the case number/calls for service count currently stands at 6,260. We are still down on numbers and I hope that continues. The dispatch numbers for August are 1,787 telephone calls, 404 people at the front window and eight arrests at the front window.

Once again I have hit the suggested word mark and I will close for today. Please drive with care and please stay legal. We do not want your jail business this month. However the jail lights do work just fine if you must visit.

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