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Sheriff’s View #38 for Sept. 14 to 18, 2009
Sheriff’s View #38 for Sept. 14 to 18, 2009

Sheriff J.B. King
Welcome aboard for one more visit with the employees of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office. I would like to start today with a problem. I am not sure just how many readers will actually get a chance to read this column in their local newspaper. I understand that some papers have moved this column to their online edition of the paper and will no longer print the column in the actual paper. I will continue to write the column in the hope that anyone who wants to read the column will find a way to do so somehow.

Over the past 4.9 years, writing this column has been a weekly news struggle. Just exactly what kind of material or information should I place in the column? I have many times now placed critical information in the column and never heard a word of concern from the community. If I confess some quirk like I did last week to throwing candy at some of my friends I get a number of comments. Considering the number of jesting remarks I received over the candy throws, I know that a lot of people read the column and may even like my sense of humor. If I stand on my soapbox and advocate a sales tax for the future of the department I would expect to hear negative remarks from people who are fed up with taxes. I do not hear those remarks.

My objective when I first started this effort was to provide serious information about our department to the general public who knew very little about the department. The concerns of our employees have been ignored for years. The problems of the department were unknown. My objective was to provide knowledge and to solicit the feelings of the public. So if I advocate a sales tax and you do not agree, tell me about it, I need to have a clear picture of your thoughts. The same applies to any other project or situation. Please open up and talk to me about the column.

We are now twelve days into the new medical contract with ACH and so far we have not made a trip to a hospital. The medical people are very happy with our response and the exam room we set up for them. I would like to thank one of our column readers, “Biscuit,” for the donation of the medical exam table to the Sheriff’s Office. He saved the taxpayers of Pulaski County at least a few thousand dollars with that donation. Overall, the medical situation is looking and working very well. On the negative side, we will be well over on the medical budget for this year but that cannot be helped. Our medical expense for next year should be much better but this year is already down the drain and we still have five months to go before the budget ends.

On the grant front, we continue to wait for the reviewing authority to approve our acceptance paperwork on all of our grants. We cannot hire the people or spend the money until we get the go ahead from the review process. At this time we have a total of $255,844 in grant funds waiting for us to start the program. This figure means we added a total of 18.48 percent to our yearly budget through grants. I will confess that waiting for the start notice is hard work.

And I will confess that some of the federal grants have me very confused. This week we got a notice from the federal program folks that our financial report on a specific grant number was overdue for the fourth quarter of 2008. The grant number in question was just awarded to us in August of 2009. How can we be overdue from the fourth quarter of 2008? Or the first two quarters of 2009 on this grant?

We have been in the transmission business the last few days. We had two transmissions die on us and the good doctor has repaired them back to life. We had a few other minor odds and ends that needed fixing on the cars and right now it appears that we might still be right on the budget figures for this year in auto expense. I know the slight drop in gas prices will help us out.

The jail list on Friday stood at 61 and the calls for service/case number count stands at 6,431 on Saturday afternoon. We still have one deputy out on a long-term medical issue and we have no idea when he will be back. We had computer and telephone lines run into the back of the jail on Friday so we could fix up the ACH people in the exam room with a phone and a computer. We also cleaned up the dispatch area and moved out some old communications equipment that we no longer used.

Once again it is time to close out for the day. I hope you will drive with care and keep your actions legal. We do not need the extra work or your body in our jail. But, the lights are on!

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