Sheriff J.B. King
Welcome aboard one more time as we review information that affects the Office of the Pulaski County Sheriff. Once again, I am not sure where I should start so I think I will keep it simple. Our calls for service number as of 9:28 a.m. on Aug. 20, stands at 7,424. We have 67 inmates on the list today. This same basic week last year the count was 7,321.
The Missouri Sheriff’s Association (MSA) website host, a firm named Brooks-Jeffrey Marketing, from a home base in Arkansas, was recently hacked by an anti-government/anti-law enforcement group. As a result of this criminal hack, a lot of classified information was released to the web. The MSA training academy has decided to cancel all online training for now and has moved to set up locations around the state for temporary classrooms for the rest of this year. We were asked to be a host and as a result I have reserved the basement training room in the courthouse for most of the Saturdays for the rest of this year. As this training starts, we should have deputies from all around the area showing up to train here and spending their money locally.
In other news, we have a deputy out for a week because of good news. A new baby has arrived in the family and he wants some time off with mom and the newborn, so yes, we gave him time off.
We also have a second deputy out for several days because of bad news. While searching for a burglary suspect in the Dixon area, he found a parole violator and arrested her. However she broke away from him and ran. When he caught up to her and made the tackle, his knee hit a big rock on the way to the ground, so he is in a cast for several days and we are not exactly sure when he will be back.
The 2008 Dodge Charger is now in service, but you are not likely to see the car out and about because the deputy who drives the Dodge is also a Field Training Officer (FTO) and he is once again training a new deputy, so they will use the new deputy's assigned Ford as their primary vehicle. After all, one of the prime points of training is to make sure the new guy gets trained in all aspects of work and driving (and getting very used to his car) is one of the things we consider a priority. So yes the pretty Silver Dodge is ours if you see it on the road.
I did some research this week and came up with some interesting information. The population of Pulaski County with the new census is listed at 52,274 and this year’s sheriff’s operations budget is the highest it has ever been at $807,322 or a grand total of $15.44 per citizen.
According to Waynesville City Hall their new population stands at 4,830 and their police budget for this year is $450,461 or $93.27 per citizen.
According to the St. Robert City Administrator, their new population stands at 4,340 and their police budget as of June 2011, stands at $1,540,748.04 or $355.01 per citizen.
Yes, I have heard the old saying that figures lie and liars figure, but I suspect most of you will have some interesting thoughts as you think about those population numbers and finance figures. I know I sure had some thoughts. One thought was what if I had $93.27 per citizen in my budget to protect them. That works out to be $4,875,595. Dreaming along even better yet, what if I had the $355.01 per citizen for a working budget which figures out to a whopping $18,557,792 per year? Wow!
I could also reverse-engineer the numbers at $15.44 times 4,830 which would give Waynesville a mere $74,575 for the year and St. Robert at a population of 4,340 at $67,009 for a yearly budget. I do not think those numbers will work for those two departments. As I said before, there are the figures for your reading pleasure.
While I am at the numbers game, I might as well throw out a few more numbers. Pulaski County has 550 square miles with a permanent population of 52,274 and a weekday population of around 65,000 to 70,000 when you add in the workers at Fort Leonard Wood and the I-44 traffic at any given minute. We usually book into the jail about 2,100 people per year and we get about 10,500 jobs (case number count) each year. I think we earn our money and considering the odds against us I think we do a great job.
Could we do better? Yes and no, The paid deputies are pretty well stretched beyond the limit, but we are working on other ways to use our reserve deputies. We cannot use the average reserve deputies as investigators for a case because they cannot give us the working time when we need the work to be done. After all, they all have full-time jobs that pay their bills and those must come first, but we can use them for special ops when they are available. We tried a new tactic last week and it worked out very well.
We set up a spot check at Cave Road and Route O, a location that has had a high crime rate of late. We assisted with the recovery of a stolen vehicle and a meth lab plus we served one felony drug warrant. We also got a tip from a citizen that led us to a home with marijuana plants and we are still working on that case. So I think the first spot check went very well.
In the coming weeks you will see other spot checks in many other high crime parts of the county. As a citizen, if you have information you want to pass along to us, take a minute and talk to the deputies working the check. They will be glad to receive your information because it will help us make more cases on the rats. Rat hunting is what the deputies are in this job for in the first place. They love to catch them and there is no bag limit.
There is, however, a limit on the number of words I am supposed to use and I am over for today. Please drive with care and please stay legal. The jail light bulb burns bright!
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