Welcome aboard one more time. We have managed to stay busy this past week and we do have some good news to report: all three of the recent car purchases that we managed to make are now on the street. We will take two of the replaced vehicles and turn them into our spare vehicles. Then we will get rid of two of the oldest spares that we have right now. We are still undecided on the fate of the third car.
The three “new” cars are all solid vehicles and the deputies assigned to the cars are very happy right now. Our new car source in Kansas City seems to have some good buys for us and I hope we can go back to him for several more 2005 and 2006 models for our fleet in the near future.
At this time, I have two active questions from readers who want to know something about the department.
The first question was, “What are the charges on the people we are holding in the jail?” The charges are across the board: everything from murder to parole violations to bad checks. I took the jail list for Dec. 2 and tried to separate out the items of interest. For starters, we were holding a total of 53 people on that date. There were 19 people on the list who had been sentenced to county jail time by a circuit judge. Those 19 people had sentences totaling 2,532 days if I added correctly. We had a total of eight people who we were holding for a parole or probation violation. We had one person who was down from the Department of Corrections on a writ for a court appearance.
If my math skills are still up to par, that means we were holding 25 people on local charges. Several of the people we were holding also had charges in other counties, but we had possession of them for our charge on Dec. 2. Having only one person here on a writ is a low figure because we usually have several at any given time. Since there have been roughly 800 felony charges filed so far this year, a figure of 25 active criminal holds is not all that bad.
In last week’s column, I tried to cover the duties of our administrative division and ran out of time. This week I shall succeed.
We have two employees in the administrative section and they push a ton of paper around keeping track of all criminal warrants and summonses that we must serve as well as all the civil papers that we must serve. That amounts to about 12,000 papers each year.
They also keep track of the completed training classes for all deputies, whether paid and reserve. At the end of each three-year training cycle, I must be able to certify to POST, the state organization that supervised law enforcement credentialling in Missouri, that the deputies had the required hours in all of the categories.
In addition, they also process all carry concealed weapon (CCW) applications from start to finish and fingerprint the successful applicants as part of the process.
On financial matters, they are responsible for accounting for all of the money received by the sheriff’s office and sending it to the Pulaski County treasurer or issuing a refund to the citizen, as required. They also track all of the bills that we receive to make sure they were correct. For example, if Miller County’s inmate board bill said we had 22 of our people at their jail in October, they will verify that the inmates were indeed our inmates and that they were there for the number of days Miller County requested payment.
Both of the administrative employees are female and both are POST-certified deputies, so we also use them as needed to help man the front door security position at the courthouse during peak volume times. I have a policy that my male deputy who is assigned to inmate transport will not transport a female inmate on a long trip by himself, so we very frequently send the administrative deputies on long trips around the state delivering inmates as needed.
The administrative deputies earn their money and they do a lot of jobs for us.
In other news, I would like to wish a happy first birthday to the big green monster at the back of the courthouse. Our state-of-the-art courthouse generator is one year old this week. Who says progress never comes to Pulaski County? I would like to say “thank you” to Eastern District County Commissioner Bill Farnham for running with the football on the generator project. Who knows? Maybe someday I can wish a new jail a happy birthday.
Our case number/calls for service count stands at 9,968 early Saturday morning, Dec. 5. Last year at this time it was 10,056. So we are only 88 cases or service calls behind the pace of last year. Many of the service calls were simple and many were very complex, but the fact of the 10,000 number has a sheer overwhelming quality of its own. That number represents a lot of jobs or assignments that the twelve road deputies have had to accomplish over the course of this year. I suspect the pace will not slow down for 2010.
I had to take a break in the writing to attend the Laquey Christmas Parade and I am now back on the job of writing the column. The Laquey Parade was very nice despite the cold. The only real problem was that both the Laquey and Crocker parades started at 11 a.m. today and I could not be in both places at once. so I had to choose and since Crocker has a police department to lead the parade and Laquey does not, I went to Laquey. Hopefully, next year the folks who set these parades up will check their starting times a little better and I can make both parades.
Once again it is time to hang up the pen so to speak. We will be back next week with another column. Until then, please drive with care and please keep your actions legal. We still do not need your jail business this year. But the lights are on!