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Sheriff’s View #7 for Feb. 8 to 12, 2010
Sheriff’s View #7 for Feb. 8 to 12, 2010

Sheriff J.B. King
Welcome aboard on one more snow filled weekend full of thrills and chills, and maybe a few slips and falls onto the backside of the planet. The weather has been our top priority, of course, but we have also been busy chasing burglars and meth labs of late. In a departure from my usual routine, I have actually started this column on Friday afternoon. I have been at the Lake of the Ozarks the past three days for the Missouri Sheriff’s Association winter training conference. We sort of lucked out today because the instructor for our last three-hour class failed to show up and we were dismissed early to return home. Since it was snowing like crazy at the time, I do not believe any sheriff objected.

In any event I returned to the county in time to visit our deputies at a location on Route NN in the Laquey area as they served a search warrant on a suspected meth lab location. We had requested help from the Lake Ozark Narcotic Enforcement Group (LANEG) and the troops were busy in the snow. At this time I do not have enough information to do a news release, but I hope to get one out soon. While I was gone, I also know that progress was made on several burglary cases. Hopefully, the next few days will see several news releases from us. I would like to say thanks to Maj. Tom Cristoffer and Capt. Bill Anderson for holding down the fort in my absence.

As usual, the Missouri Sheriff’s Association training was useful. We had a special segment on rural agriculture crimes and there was a lot to learn. I know that we have had few such crimes here in Pulaski County and I believe that in the future we will be able to do a better job on these crimes in part because the Missouri State Highway Patrol has established a special agriculture crime unit within the Division of Drug and Crime Control (DDCC) to work these cases. Even better a good friend of mine from the Highway Patrol has been selected as the special investigator for our area. We will not have any problem working with him or receiving his special help. Agriculture in Missouri represents a $4 billion per year industry and there are a lot of thieves who look toward local farmers for something to steal. I am currently working on a new program for our deputies to follow that should help our local enforcement efforts for agriculture crimes.

A number of the sheriffs at the conference reported that their area had been hit by telemarketers asking folks for their donations and making the claim that they represented the Missouri Sheriff’s Association. Bluntly said, the Missouri Sheriffs’ Association DOES NOT USE, HAS NEVER USED, and WILL PROBABLY NEVER USE telemarketers to solicit donations. If you get a call from somebody claiming to represent us hang up on them. Do not send them money.

This past week we sent in our 2009 racial profile numbers to the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. I was going to include them in the column today but forgot to bring home the info. However I think I can quote the main numbers from memory. Please remember, though, that as one gets older, the hearing, vision, and memory go away. I believe that we had a total of 993 traffic stops. There were 161 citations and 755 warnings issued as a result of those stops. Many of the traffic stops came about because of the MoDOT safety grants that we have worked. We have obtained about $20,000 worth of over time money for the deputies over the past three years and about $10,000 worth of free equipment so far. When we first started the MoDOT programs we had almost no radar equipment to work with and it has been an uphill fight to get the cars equipped. At this time I believe we still have five cars that are not radar equipped and that includes my car. Hopefully the 2010-2011 grant year with MoDOT will take care of equipment for those cars.

The state of Missouri, MoDOT, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol have all launched an aggressive war on traffic fatalities over the past five years and as a result the 2009 fatality count was the lowest since (from memory) 1950. The MoDOT safety programs like the Hazardous Moving Violations grant that we have used the past three years are just one part of the total effort to reduce the number of lives lost. I just checked the state patrol website and the following are the correct fatality totals for the past few years. In 2007 it was 992 killed. In 2008 it was 960, and in 2009 the total dropped to 878. No matter how you list these numbers they represent a lot of people killed in car wrecks in Missouri and most of them were preventable. The toll on the family and friends of those killed can never be added up in any positive way and the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office will continue to work to keep the fatal numbers here in Pulaski County as low as possible.

Our calls for service/case number count stood at 792 this Saturday morning the 6th of February at 8:22 a.m. Last year at this time the count stood at 781. So that would mean we are roughly running neck to neck with last year so far.

I believe that once again I have made it to the end of a column. Drive with care or you may be pulled over by the deputy in our newest vehicle which is now on the road. Please keep your actions legal because we do not want you in our jail. Remember that as a county we cannot afford to put you in the jail. But as I have said before if you are determined to visit our jail you will find that the lights are bright.

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