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Sat, Dec 9, 2023
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Sheriff's View
Welcome aboard one more time for another trip around Pulaski County with the deputies of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office. We had a busy week in some ways and we had a shift or so that was very quiet. We did enjoy the quiet shifts but we also had a suspicion that we would pay later for the quiet time and that’s how it worked out in the end.

As of 9:35am on Oct. 4, 2008, our calls for service/case number count stands at 8,268. Last Sunday the count was 8,096. This means we had 172 jobs in six days that tied up a deputy for a period of time and some of those jobs involved criminal cases. It does not mean we had 172 active criminal cases suddenly appear for us to work. As I have said before, the count, under my guidelines, is only intended to be a measure of the workload that we experience. It is not intended to measure the crime rate. The only possible way to measure the crime rate would be to look at the Uniform Crime Report numbers that are reported by every police agency in the United States to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their annual report to congress.

There have been many questions of late as to the crime rate in our county and I made the mistake of doing some research in the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR’s) that are submitted by all police agencies in the county. In order to accurately explain these numbers I will need far more space than this column allows. There are a lot of factors that must be explained to fully understand the numbers and the UCR reporting guidelines.

Having said that I will use a quick set of numbers. In the year 2001 the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department reported a total of 332 major crimes in rural Pulaski County. All county police agencies added together (includes PCSD) reported a total of 819 major crimes within the entire county. And all police agencies reported a total of 1,656 arrests for (all felony and many but not all misdemeanors) crimes in the county.

In 2007 the numbers were all PCSD major rural crimes at 370, all agencies added together stood at 959 major crimes. The total arrests for all agencies stood at 2,218 for 2007. I believe a comparison between the numbers quoted will give you some idea of the progression of the crime rate in Pulaski County. But I will also caution you that there are many factors that play into this UCR system and before you begin to argue one viewpoint or another you will need to understand the system. In looking at the numbers I find there is an ebb and flow to the numbers up and down. My immediate question was did the crime rate ebb and flow or was the reporting of the UCR’s somewhat flawed at the time? Like I said there are many factors that can come into consideration on this topic. I will complete a full report on the UCR’s for the local media to use as soon as I can find the time.

On a related topic connected to the case numbers I must confess to a bit of an Oops! In last weeks column I told you we had been posting the entire case number list, on a weekly basis, on Rick Lepard’s Pulaski County Web Dot Com. I invited you to view the complete weekly case number assignments and make up your own mind as to the nature of the calls for service/case number count. At the time I wrote those words I did not know that when Rick’s computer server crashed several weeks ago the crash wiped out all of the weekly reports up to the date of the crash. Only the reports posted after the date of the crash were open to view. Once we found this out we sent Mr. Lepard a repeat of all the reports that had been wiped out and at this time I believe the weekly reports are open for view from January of 2008 to present. I again invite you to view the weekly reports and make up your own mind on this issue.

In other news we had a busy time this past week. As reported in last week’s column we were working a case involving serious injury to a 13-month-old child. We have a person charged with child abuse in connection with this crime. I have already sent out a news release on this case. Between the HIPPA laws and the desire not to prejudice the criminal case there is little I can say in print on this case. The child remains in very serious condition at this time.

We had one brief bit of humor this past week when we received a message from an out of state police agency as to the location of one of their wanted fugitives believed to be in our county. As our deputies headed out to Richland to find him, the suspect walked into the sheriff’s office to ask some questions. Oops!

This past week a reporter from TV station KRCG-13 in Jefferson City interviewed our Presiding Commissioner Bill Ransdall and me on the issue of inmate board bills. Between the two of us I think we managed to give the reporter a pretty good story that explained the issue very well. Especially since Mr. Ransdall has some special experience on this topic because he used to chair the appropriations committee for the house of representative at the state level. The bottom line here is that I do know that we both share the view that the state must raise the inmate daily rate for state payments.

I see that once again I am over the magic number of words and I must close out the column. I will again ask you to drive with care and to stay legal. We do not want your jail business. Our poor overworked light bulb has been overwhelmed these past few weeks.

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