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The Sheriff’s View #1 for Dec. 29, 2008 through Jan. 2, 2009
The Sheriff’s View #1 for Dec. 29, 2008 through Jan. 2, 2009

Sheriff J.B. King
Welcome aboard for another year of thrills, chills, and I hope good news to be reported in the Sheriff’s View Column as the year passes us by in the usual succession of events. Once again we face the prospect of 52 columns’ to be read at the correct time. It seems a bit odd for this column to split the week between 2008 and 2009 but that is the way the calendar falls this year. I hope that everyone had a very special Christmas this year. I also hope that everyone has plans for a great New Years holiday. Once again our New Years resolution at the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department will be to do the best we can with what little we are given. I just hope our best will be good enough to handle the bad situations.

The first news item for the week will be to announce that the oath of office ceremony for the newly elected Pulaski County officials will take place on 12-31-2008 at 9:00am in the lobby of the Pulaski County Courthouse. The event will be open to the media and general public for viewing. I am sure we will mill about and talk for a short period of time before this event but the actual oath of office will be over in the blink of an eye. Then of course we will probably stand around and talk for a few more minutes when the ceremony is over. Immediately following the oath of office ceremony I will file my certificate of election and the required performance bond with the Pulaski County Circuit Clerk. I already have both of these papers in my possession ready to file. Once all of that is done we are ready to go back to work.

I suspect our workload for 2009 will be staggering in nature. We shall continue to back up every law enforcement agency in Pulaski County because they are all short on manpower. The Missouri State Highway Patrol has been hard hit by the loss of Troopers from our local zones. At this time they are at sixty percent strength with their manpower. Even worse they have now been assigned the job of covering half of the calls in Maries County. On those nasty weather days like last Saturday with traffic crashes everywhere we are supporting the patrol with assistance on all Pulaski County highways. Those of you who listen to the scanner traffic will know what I mean when I say that every officer on duty in the county can be assigned to cover a wreck in less than ten minutes when the adverse weather hits. It is amazing sometimes just how chaotic this county can become within a period of less than ten minutes.

Our call for service/case number count this morning stands at 10,512. As I told you all recently the St. Robert Police calls for service count was at 8,462 back on December 9, 2008. It is no big secret that the population center of Pulaski County rests in the triangle formed by the cities of Waynesville, St.Robert and Ft. Wood. As a result the vast majority of all calls for police help arise from this area. That is the way it has been for many years and it will continue to be that way for the future. This makes the area of Pulaski County outside of a city limit the most vulnerable to crime.

The only two agencies with proper law enforcement jurisdiction for these unincorporated areas are the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol. We all know that on occasion the Waynesville and St. Robert Police will take action in the county but never forget that their primary job means the protection of citizens within their respective cities. It is not their responsibility to cover the county.

As I mentioned above the local MSHP zones are down to 60% manpower strength at this time and it will be a long time before their manpower totals rise. The PCSD has never had the manpower numbers needed for adequate patrol efforts in our county and while I would like to say we will increase our staff levels this year that would be a lie. My prayer is that I do not lose any positions. I regret to say that the law enforcement year of 2009 in Pulaski County is going to be long and hard on the few officers that are in place to do the job. This trend will continue until the day that the citizens of Pulaski County rise up and demand proper and adequate law enforcement staffing.

In other news I am told that Judge William Hass from Howell County has been appointed to handle the lawsuit filed by former sheriff J. T. Roberts to contest the November election. At this time I have not been notified of any new court date for the case and we shall continue to wait. It you would like to follow the case on Missouri Case Net the number is 08PU-CV02247.

I believe that I have written my way through another column. As we approach the New Years Eve parties please remember that if you are going to drink give the car keys to the sober driver. Our jail is full and we do not need a rash of DWI cases to flood the cells. But make no mistake if you are DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) we will find room to hold you in the jail. Until next time please keep your actions legal and please stay out of our jail. But if you must visit you will find that the light is on!

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