Sheriff J.B. King
Welcome on board for another sheriff’s view column full of thrills and chills. Just a second, did I say “chills”? Somehow I doubt that there will be chills today. We may have a class on how to fry eggs on the hood of a patrol car. Heck, we may even try to fry half of a cow on the hood. On a serious note, just think about the deputies who are wearing a ballistic vest in this heat. They get very, very, hot.
I am starting today’s column at 12:05 p.m. on July 17. I just got back home from the office. It seems that this is a payroll weekend and I have to get the time cards ready for the County Clerk’s office on Sunday morning. While I was at the office, I saw a message from the federal grant people who wanted a budget change to the last grant I submitted, and even worse, they wanted the change by July 18, so I took time to do the required revision for them while I was at the office. The grant total for equipment went up by $85 and now stands at $10,984 for this next grant. We should know by Oct. 1 of this year if we will get this grant.
We have other news on the payroll front. It seems that the county is changing to a direct deposit system for the county payroll. The majority of my employees are very happy about this little change. Since we all work three rotating shifts most of the employees are not on duty when the checks come out but they need the checks as badly as everybody else does so they must make a special trip to the courthouse to pick up their checks. This interferes with their sleep requirements for the people on the evening and midnight shifts, so a direct deposit for our payroll makes a ton of sense for us. I asked the County Commission for direct deposit three years ago but the idea was turned down at that time. Right now, we have no idea how quickly this new system could be set up and made operational.
In other news, we have 72 inmates on the list today, and that is about where we have been staying of late. Our new prosecutor has filed a bunch of cases this year (the count stands at 999 for the year as of Friday July 15) and he has been working his way through the cases filed prior to his taking office. We seem to have had a major problem of late with people who did not appreciate their good fortune by having been placed on a probation status and who violated their status and ended up in the jail. We seem to have sent a bunch of people to the Department of Corrections of late, so if you decide to violate your probation status, about all I can say is that the jail air conditioner is working again.
Our case number/calls for service count stands at 6,286 this morning, and dispatch just sent the troops to a domestic disturbance a few minutes ago in the Hunters Point area, so make that 287 on the end. On July 18, 2010, the case number count stood at 5,977, so we are up just a hair over last year at this time.
It has been a busy week for us. We assisted the Dixon Police with their major shooting incident this past week and we also worked a fatal hit and run accident on Highway 28. We will have a lot of work to do on the accident case and we will have a lot of overtime on that case. Anyone who thinks they may have information on this death investigation is asked to please call the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office at (573) 774-6196.
With the end of June having passed by us, the County Clerk’s Office gave me our budget expense reports for the first half of this year. I always find it easier to look at the budget at the half-way point. Our car expense budget is about $700 off being exactly a 50/50 split for the year. Since we had some major repairs during the first half, we are hoping that gas expense will not eat us up during the second half of the year.
It does appear that we will go over by $2,000 to $3,000 on inmate food service. Right now the inmate board bill is looking good but our increased case load will also mean an increased cost effect. The medical side is looking quite good in part due to the recent $2,032.74 refund that we got from Advanced Correctional Healthcare for our billing mistake. Since our monthly payment to ACH is only $4011, that amounts to almost a free half-month of service.
The rest of the budget items are looking good. Our biggest issue has always been the salary line of the budget and we appear to be on track there. We have been trying to cut down on our accumulated comp hours and have managed to take off several hundred hours of overtime.
This past week we held a FTO (our field training program) testing review board for one new deputy who had been training for some time now and he passed, so he will begin to operate on his own from now on when he is on duty. We will still closely monitor his work and reports and on the more serious calls we will send automatic backup. We will hold a FTO review board this upcoming week for a second deputy and see if he can test out and start to work on his own. Our field training officer has already started work with another new deputy who needs trained.
It is now 1:28 p.m. and the deputies are off and running to another domestic disturbance off Highway 28 so move the case number up to 6,288 for the year. Those of you in the reading audience who have a police scanner know how busy we are but the rest of you have no clue and I am always looking for a way to give out examples of our work load.
It appears that I have worded my way through another full column without the chills. Please drive with care for we do not need the wrecks and please keep your actions legal the jail count is way too high already, but the jail light bulb burns bright!
Click here to follow Pulaski County Daily News on Twitter
Click here to follow Pulaski County Daily News on Facebook
Click here for comments and local opinion