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The Sheriff’s View #2 for Jan. 5 to 9, 2009
The Sheriff’s View #2 for Jan. 5 to 9, 2009

Sheriff J.B. King
Welcome aboard for a short column. As you all know January is the month when the budget hits the fan for all elected Pulaski County officials. This year we have been blessed with a five-day window in which to complete our budgets and return them to the Commission. When you deal with a budget as diverse as the sheriff’s department five days is not a lot of time.

On the other hand the Commission has requested that the 2009 budget exactly match the 2008 budget so part of the work will be easy. Some of the figures for the funds will present a challenge. But the rest should be fairly easy. The civil fee fund starts the year at $834.00 so we are behind the ball on this one for 2009 because we usually have more money left in the fund at the end of the prior year. I just hope I am not expected to pull a new used car out of the hat for the department anytime soon because it will take some time for the civil fee fund to rebuild.

I tried to work on the budget today (Sunday 1-4-09) but my mind was not completely on task. Early this morning I was notified that a Troop I zone commander in Phelps County, Sgt. Mark Reynolds, age 40, apparently died of natural causes at his residence early Sunday morning. Mark had been on sick leave the past two weeks. My thoughts are with his family, rest in peace my friend.

We ended the year of 2008 with a total call for service/case number count of 10,593. As of 6:30pm on 1-4-09 we are already at 99 for the new year of 2009. I am sure our count will not drop in 2009.

In past years I have given you some early budget numbers as soon as they are available. Our worst budget line for 2008 will be the inmate board bill. We had been given $300,000.00 in the budget by the Commission for this item and the final expense was $419,426.00 for 2008. We got back something slightly over $290,000.00, the exact figure is not yet known to me, from the state on the inmates we sent to DOC in 2008. All told we did a have some serious expense on the inmate issue.

I also have part of the jail count breakdown for the year. We managed to have an average daily count for the year of 27.56 inmates per day that were housed at the Pulaski County jail. Since our capacity is supposed to be 28 inmates per day at maximum count I think we did a good job. As to housing our inmates at the other jails we use we averaged 34.34 inmates per day away from our jail. I would like to say job well done to the jail staff.

In other news our new food service company the Star Restaurant seems to have hit the ground running with no disruptions in the food service at the jail for the inmates. Most of the folks who have won the food bid soon realize that the three meals a day every day gets very old after a few months. We welcome the Star to our home.

I would also like to say job well done to the owners of the Sweetwater BBQ for the past year’s service to Pulaski County for feeding our inmates. Our inmates are a picky bunch when it comes to food and we had very few complaints about the food service of Sweetwater BBQ during 2008.

In other news to the best of my knowledge we have had no activity in Pulaski County Circuit Court related to whatever kind of legal action it was that former Sheriff J. T. Roberts filed over the outcome of the November 2008 sheriff’s election. In his legal filing he seeks a recount by hand for the November election. He has also asked the court to order a new election with a hand count. He further asks, “that he be awarded his attorney fees incurred herein and for his costs of action.” The quote cited was taken from page 16 of his legal filing in Pulaski County Circuit Court. When we do have action on this case I will pass on the information in the column.

And once again I seem to have run out of material that I should present to my readers this month. I would again ask that all of you drive careful and please stay legal. We need to hold down the jail bill this year. But the light is on for you if you must visit.

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