Welcome aboard one more time for another column of news from the Office of the Pulaski County Sheriff. We had a busy week, but in one respect it was a hard week because we have three people on vacation at the same time. We have two road deputies out at the same time, which kind of hurts, and one command staff member. As the saying goes, all work and no play makes for a snarly deputy or some such word. Seriously, you have to be able to walk away from this job once in a while and recharge the battery or else you will burn out completely.
On Saturday morning, June 19, at 11:20 a.m., our calls for service-case number count stands at 5,015. Our inmate count this morning stands at 53. In 2009 the inmate count stood at 64 and the calls for service count stood at 4,410. In 2008 the call count was 5,005. Once again, we are staying fairly consistent with the numbers.
I have had a number of comments about my new aggressive media news release campaign. I can say that several members of the media love the flood of releases that I have sent out of late. However, this is a double edged sword. Yes, I have done it this year, but we had the same kind of news action last year, so I get asked why did I fail to put out the news last year? About all I can say in my defense is that this job has a lot of directions we need to move in, all at once. Sometimes we fail, and sometimes we cannot decide what the most pressing direction to move toward should be at that exact minute. In those cases, we usually try several directions at once and end up doing about half the job we should on each job direction. We simply run out of time to do the job.
In other news at this time, we actually have almost all of our cars in service and all car swaps have been completed. We do have a few minor details to take care of and I guess I should mention our last big car job will be the completion of the 2007 wrecked car into a patrol car. When we are done, we will have three cars set up as unmarked. All three will have full size LED light bars mounted front and rear inside the car. Each unmarked car will also have corner strobe lights and grill lights. Everybody else will have an LED light bar mounted on the roof. All cars will have the wig-wag headlight flashers. When we are done, the entire fleet will be in good shape for emergency warning equipment to protect a scene or to run code three to an emergency. We have come a very long way with our emergency lighting systems from what we had when we started in 2005.
This week, we are once again hosting another Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) session at the old Waynesville Technical Academy. I checked on the guys a little while ago and this class is smaller. We had four no-shows for the training that we had expected to be there, so this will be the smallest class yet. It will also be the third and last class for the Texas based training group here in Pulaski County Missouri for 2010. There is a chance that Fort Leonard Wood personnel will be able to set up a class with them later this year, but right now we just do not know. I do not have the exact figures with me, but roughly 85 local officers will have gone through the same training and we will all be on the same sheet of music if something blows up for real. We have only had one local agency that has not sent any officers to the training, so all in all, I think we have done well as the hosts for this extremely important crisis training.
On the grant front, the June 16 deadline has passed and we are definitely out of the running for any new deputies through the COPS grant program. Some time back, I mentioned that I was working on a grant for ballistic vests for the deputies and I cannot remember if I ever did report that the grant has been submitted to the feds for review and hopefully some action. On Friday of this week, I submitted another grant for $13,514 worth of equipment. I have been working with Kelley at the Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) and we managed to get this grant set up and written in only four weeks. Most of that time was expended by me as I did searches for specific items of equipment so we could have accurate facts to present in the grant application. After a lot of work, we had the grant application ready to submit on Friday and after reading it through three times and finding no mistakes, I went ahead and submitted the formal application. If and when we have news on any of these grants, I will pass that information along to our readers.
On Friday, we also had a series of thefts from cars in the Hunters Point area. Items such as laptops, wallets, IPods, and GPS systems were stolen. At this time we have no leads in these cases so I am asking for any help the public may be able to give us in identifying the bad guys who committed these thefts. Please feel free to call (573) 774-6196 to pass on any information you may have about these crimes.
Once again, I seem to have run out of time and room for this column. Please drive with care for we have had way too many car wrecks of late. Please keep your actions legal because we cannot afford to pay for your incarnation in our jail, but as always, if you must visit the jail the light burns bright.