Sheriff J.B. King
Welcome aboard one more time for another column packed full of stuff. What kind of stuff I do not know, because once again I did not make any notes this week on items to cover this weekend. At least the weather as we approach July is up to its usual par of hot! Beware of heat stroke and heat exhaustion as the summer continues. Both of those medical situations are not things you can ignore.
As of 4:24 p.m. on June 25, the calls for service/case number count stands at 5,550 for this year. We also had 68 inmates on the list this morning. That is too many for me but it does beat the 80s-range numbers we had a few months ago. I just checked CaseNet and the prosecutor has now filed 904 cases so far this year as compared to the 1,022 we had last year. The cases seem to just keep on rolling along. I was waiting to testify one day this week when a case of possible witness tampering popped up and I was asked to investigate. The end result was that while I was waiting for one case to come up in court, I investigated a second case that was filed the same afternoon. Like I said, the cases just seem to keep on rolling along.
Reference to our case numbers back on June 27, 2010, the count stood at 5,298 so we are not that far ahead of last year’s pace of events. That is a good thing because we are currently hurting for help. We have one deputy off on a vacation. We have one off for a military school for these two weeks, then he will be back for a few weeks, and then off to the sandbox to serve for at least one year, maybe longer. We have one new deputy who is just about to finish his field training plan. He should be out on his own next week some time. We have three more deputies who just started with us on June 19 and they are working on their first week of training.
We are in somewhat of a pickle because we only have two trained FTOs, Field training Officers, who have been through a special school to become a FTO. Frankly I never thought we would be training three new deputies at one time, so we are making plans to send additional deputies off to an FTO school in the near future. We shall need them because I have mandated that all reserve deputies who have not been on the road for a long period of time must go through a modified FTO course before they are allowed to ride solo again.
The big news for this week is that Capt. William “Bill” Anderson, our operations officer, has resigned from the department. Anderson did a lot of good work for us and we wish him the best in the future. He has already given an interview on his resignation to the Waynesville Daily Guide and while I see no need to speak for him. I suspect you will see his name on a certain ballot issue next year.
I have already promoted Lt. Anthony L. “Tony” Claar to the rank of Captain and he will take Anderson’s place in the department. Claar is a very capable man and I believe he will fit right into the job without any problems. Claar does not know this yet, but the Daily Guide reporter is stalking him for a feature article for the paper. Please do not tell Tony he is being stalked; we want this to be a big surprise.
Claar has a bit of an unusual past. He served a combat tour wit the Army in Afghanistan with bullets flying everywhere and he also served a tour as a member of the United States Coast Guard. From “Coasty” to “Grunt,” he has had an interesting past in the military. Claar also had a solid background in the police field in another state before he moved to Missouri. At this point I think I better shut up or the Daily Guide reporter will be stalking me for blowing his story.
If anybody noticed the fact that I am writing this column kind of late in the day for me it is because I had two jobs to complete today before I could get to the column. First I had the pleasure of going to the Waynesville City Park and being a judge for the Cave State Cruisers at their annual car show. This is a really neat little job that I enjoy right up to the point where I find that I have twenty cars listed in my notebook as the best of the best but I only have one trophy to hand out. At that point things get a little tough to handle.
My second job today was to do a final review of our next grant and then submit it for consideration. Along the way I had to verify all of the data (24 pages) that we provided for them to make sure it was accurate. Then I had to print out a copy to give to the county clerk for his file. This is the same grant that I presented to the Pulaski County Commission on Thursday of this past week. I am going for additional equipment for drug interdiction. However the bulk of the money spent for this grant will be the cost of two new in-car camera systems that can be used for all criminal and traffic situations. There is nothing quite like a video of the event to present to a jury for them to have a very clear understanding of the defendant’s actions.
We now have two federal grants pending and we most likely will not learn of their fate until this fall sometime. Meanwhile on Tuesday of this next week, we face the big telephone audit of our two largest grants. The good news is that the audit person in Washington, D. C., has received the package I sent her with the needed documents so we should be ready to roll on Tuesday.
At this point, I seem to be out of news to print so I guess I have completed my third job of this day. Please drive with care and please keep your actions legal, for our jail is quite full and we do not need you there. As you know we will leave a light on for you -- a very bright light bulb!
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