Welcome aboard for another column. We had a very busy week and I have sent out a number of news releases to our local media so hopefully you have heard about some of the news. The news about recent events can be information that is greatly searched for by many people.
The recent public meeting at Laquey produced a number of comments that the deputies “do nothing.”
That is not the truth. The deputies are constantly busy. However, these comments caused me to review our news release program and my conclusion was that I had failed to adequately send out all of the news releases that apply to the sheriff’s office. So I have decided to correct that error.
I have begun an aggressive campaign of releasing news about events that happen around our department. Many times in the past I have not been told about news worthy events that occurred when I was not on duty. I have taken steps to make sure I get all the news so that I can release many more news articles, but that does not mean I will release everything. I will need to make sure any news I release does not affect an ongoing investigation. I will have to take care with other releases, of course, but the bottom line is that the news events of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office should be sent to our local media much more frequently in the future.
One of the best bits of recent news is that the proposed new law which would have severely limited our ability to send Class C and Class D felons to the Missouri Department of Corrections was shot down in flames in the Missouri House of Representatives. Hopefully that bill will stay dead. The proposed new sentencing guidelines would in many cases have required law enforcement to have caught and convicted a person of three separate Class C and Class D crimes before he could have been sent to state prison for the first time. The thinking behind this new proposed law was way out of step with the current thoughts of many citizens of Pulaski County and I am glad to hear that it died.
Along those same lines last week, the Rural Crimes Unit of the Missouri State Highway Patrol sent out a news release that concerned the drastic increase in rural crimes over the past few years. The story cited the limited resources of the various departments that investigate such crimes and the difficulty of solving many of those cases. In a way it was nice to hear that our troubles are basically everybody else’s troubles and that we are not alone or unusual when it comes to crime problems. I believe you can still find the story on My OZARKS Online news.
This past week the third floor bailiff crew was swamped with trials and other court proceedings and was also one bailiff short for the week so we got a chance to once again supply bailiffs during court hours. When you have three courtrooms in action at the same time, especially with two jury trials at once, you can use up a lot of bailiffs real quick. However, courtroom security is at the top of the list when it comes to our job.
Before this weekend is over, I hope to see our latest addition to our fleet in service. Maj. Tom Cristoffer, our chief deputy, is working on the car and has high hopes he will finish by Sunday. He has been delayed by a number of other repairs to other cars that he has had to cover but fortunately most of those repairs have been minor in nature. Tom has also had to spend some time working on the wrecked 2007 patrol car that we are trying to get back into shape for our fleet. When we get this car done it will be our newest model with the fewest miles and it should be the crown jewel of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office vehicle fleet.
During this past week, we had a period of slightly less than two shifts or 16 hours when the work load went crazy. If I have added up correctly, we found three meth lab dump sites, two meth labs, arrested five people for felony violations, recovered one hand grenade, and investigated one apparent suicide incident. As I have said before we stay busy all the time but this time frame was crazy even by our local standards. I hope that this frantic work load does not continue.
As of 10:30 a.m. on May 22, our current case number/calls for service requests stand at 4,117 for this year. I took the liberty of checking the calls for service number for column twenty-two in 2009 and that number stood at 3,618. I also read in last year’s column that our inmate roster for that day was 67 inmates. So I called back to the office and today’s count is 39 inmates.
I believe that once again I have finished with another column. I would again ask that you drive with care and keep your actions legal. We do not want you in our jail because Pulaski County cannot afford the cost, but if you must visit the jail we do have enough money to pay the light bill. The lights work just fine.