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Sheriff’s View #47 for Nov. 16 to 20, 2009
Sheriff’s View #47 for Nov. 16 to 20, 2009

Sheriff J.B. King
Welcome aboard one more time. This column will be a struggle because I cannot find anything to write about today. I must confess that I actually took a three-day vacation from work. I started on Friday and then moved into deer season high gear for Saturday and Sunday. I must also confess that my score was rather dismal this weekend. No deer observed, no shots fired, but I did have the honor of twice being called a bunch of names by unseen deer in the brush. I got the impression they did not like me. I suspect they also voted Democrat in the last election.

The deer stand was a busy place on Saturday as I handled five phone calls related to work. Maybe next year we can upgrade the tree stand with a computer link so I can work better from the woods. Maybe next year I will get smart and leave the phone at home. And maybe this is enough of the deer season humor for this column.

This past week we got one of our “new” vehicles in service. I believe it was Wednesday when the car went into service. The vehicle only had 99,000 miles when we bought it so it automatically moves into first place as our newest and best car. The new unit is an unmarked car and replaces the deputy’s old unmarked car. His former unmarked car already has an LED light bar on the roof as we recycle the older car down to the newest member of the force.

Maj. Tom Cristoffer, my chief deputy, has already started working on equipping the next “new” car that we bought last week. It is a white Ford and as soon as it is in service it will become the best car because it only had 84,000 miles when purchased. I have found a new dealer in the Kansas City area who seems to have the type of patrol car that we need. He has lots of vehicles with around 100,000 miles and a price of around $5,000. Pulaski County deputies only get the best.

I do have one rather nice piece of news for this week.

During the spring of 2009, I submitted an application for a Missouri State Medal of Valor for Pulaski County Deputy Don Hayden. The shootout incident occurred last year and received a lot of media attention at the time. I sent in the incident details for review by the committee whose members make the decision. The application was granted and on Thursday, Nov. 19, Deputy Hayden will be given the medal at 2 p.m. by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon during a ceremony in the Governor’s Office.

I suspect the Governor’s Office will be a bit crowded that day because Don is one of seven Missouri officers who will receive the award and I am sure all seven officers will have family and friends attending. Our great Pulaski County legislator, Rep. David Day, has agreed to assist us while we are in the capitol and make sure we all get to the Governor’s Office on time.

This award will be a great honor for Don and I would like to say “Thank you, Don” one more time for the service that he gives to our county. He is truly deserving of this award. I also wish him the best of luck as he continues his rehabilitation for the injuries he received during the shootout.

As we near the end of the 2009 budget year, I have once again reviewed the finance picture for the year. In many respects, this year will be hard to predict. We will be way over in the inmate medical costs because we had almost a full year of expense and then the County Commission gave the contract to our new medical company on top of the other expense. Next year should be much better as we move solely to the new contract, but this year is a lost medical cause.

In the area of auto expense, the figures are too close for an accurate prediction right now, but I suspect we will be very close to the budget estimate. We might even be under budget in auto expanse. We have been two deputies short all year and it looks like that has helped with our gas expense.

The big one, the inmate board bill, is also too close to call right now. The last report showed a real high figure left over at the end of October, but we had received a couple of board bills late in the pay cycle and I suspect the budget status report is somewhat out of balance due to the late bills. Only the passage of time will tell us where we actually stand on the inmate board bill for 2009.

Once again I must close out for this week. Please drive with care and please keep your actions legal. We do not need your jail business, but if you must visit us, the jail lights do work.

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