Welcome aboard one more time. For once we had a half way quiet week and our frantic rush of cases from the last two weeks has slowed considerably. We do have several probable cause statements waiting for a response from the prosecuting attorney and when we get that response I will send out the news.
In the meantime, I and many others will continue to battle the spring pollen counts that are driving us all crazy. Our Lake Area Narcotics Enforcement Group (LANEG) officer told me that one meth maker stated the pollen was so bad this spring that the meth cooks are trying to turn their meth back into pseudoephedrine to help fight the allergies!
I have mentioned before that I am a serious student of military history and today I feel a compelling urge to remember the World War II Battle of Midway. It took place 68 years ago this past week (June 4 to 7, 1942) and marked a tremendous turning point for our war in the Pacific. I know this has nothing to do with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, but I would still like to salute all veterans of the Midway battle in today’s column. Who knows how history would have changed if Midway had not occurred? I doubt that the United States would have lost the war with Japan, but it sure would have lasted a lot longer than 1945.
Over the past 10 days or so, there have been a number of events that my department has worked on that I have not reported in a news release. An example would be the search for Eddie Acosta, a local man who went missing from a hospital in Columbia. The authorities in the Columbia area did not enter him into the missing person’s database so we did it here. We also searched his home just in case he had somehow made it back home and fell ill there. As I write the column today, Eddie is still missing and there appear to be no clues as to how or why he is missing. Eddie is described as a Hispanic male, age 46, 5-feet 2-inches tall, weighing 160 pounds with multiple tattoos on his body. He usually wears glasses and a ball cap.
We had a traffic stop near the Riddle Bridge on Highway Y that turned up a person with five active warrants: three from the St. Robert Police Department, one from the Springfield police and one from the state of Michigan. The Springfield and Michigan warrants were beyond the extradition limits, so we turned him over to the St. Robert police. Then we had the case where one of our deputies made a driving-while-intoxicated stop near our office. After the subject was booked into custody and released, he managed to walk to his vehicle and started to drive again, so the same deputy stopped him again for another DWI.
In other news, I am without a car today. My assigned car has been taken away from me by Maj. Top Cristoffer, our chief deputy, but he did promise me a newer car with better warning lights would show up in my driveway in the next few days. The 2003 model that we bought recently to replace the wrecked car went into service on Tuesday of this past week. My old car will be recycled into a marked unit to replace an older car we want to take off-line.
In other news, I went before the Pulaski County Commission this past Thursday to ask for a decision on our application for the federal COPS grant. This grant would pay out more than $190,000 over the next three years to fully fund the salary for two deputies. During the fourth year, Pulaski County would have to pay the salary and benefit package for the two deputies at a cost of about $64,000 for that one year. This was one of the grants that we went after last year because grants that pay for people are few and far between. We were not selected in round one last year but round two has opened and I think our chances are good this year for a successful selection. At this time, the Pulaski County Commissioners are very reluctant to give me the authority to reapply for the grant due to their reading of the county’s financial position. I was told to come back on Monday of this next week for an answer. The clock is ticking on this grant. The grant opened last Wednesday and will close next Wednesday so we have to get moving.
After the recent public events where our Pulaski County citizens protested about our local crime rate I doubt that you will have to guess too many times to know where the sheriff’s department stands with regard to this grant. We desperately need to replace the manpower we lost in the 2009 budget and this grant would be a major step in the right direction for us. At this time, 10,000 calls for service does not go into 12 deputies very well but it would be slightly better going into 14 deputies. As I have said before, we need all the help we can get.
I think I have reached the end of another column. So please drive with care and please keep your personal actions legal. We do not want your body in our jail, but if you just have to visit us, you will be pleased to know the jail lights work just fine.