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Sheriff’s View #21 for May 18 to 22, 2009
Sheriff’s View #21 for May 18 to 22, 2009

Sheriff J.B. King
Welcome aboard for column number 21 for 2009. It does seem that number 21 got here fast, but then again we have been busy of late and time does fly. Still, we are 21 weeks into the year at this time and so far things are looking as well as could be expected. I would like to remind everyone that this week is graduation week for many of our area schools. That also means that summer vacation will soon start everywhere and lots of little people will be busy playing. They will not be looking for cars so you will have to avoid them.

For the month of March, the state troopers of Troop I assigned to Pulaski County worked a total of 46 accidents. There were 57 people injured and we had no fatalities for Pulaski County. In fact, all six counties of the Troop I area had no fatalities during March. That does not happen very often. Please remember that these numbers are solely for the state patrol; the city police departments worked accidents that are not recorded here.

The case number/calls for service count this date stands at 3,249. In this same week in 2008, it stood at 3,776. Our slight reduction in calls continues to hold. We now have one of the former Phelps County cars in service and are working on the second car. Hopefully we get it in service soon.

Over the past few columns, I have mentioned that I was busy working on grants. At this time we have four federal grants and one state grant submitted online and waiting for review. The grants are fairly complex in nature but I think I can provide a small peek at their purpose. If we were to be successful and win every grant, we would add two deputies, two dispatchers, one evidence room tech and five jail staff members. We would also add $58,610 worth of equipment and slightly over $12,000 in paid overtime hours to work on traffic enforcement.

Please do not hold your breath waiting for a response because on most of these grants we will not get an answer until late July. As a rule grants for people are very rare and these grants in particular were especially sweet with regard to the follow-up requirements. Unfortunately that means that every law enforcement department in the United States applied for something and even with Uncle Sam’s unlimited checkbook access there will come a point were they run out of the allocated money and a bunch of departments will be left out in the cold. We can only pray that we will not be one of them.

On Thursday of this past week, May 14, we held our annual awards ceremony in the foyer of the Pulaski County Courthouse. We did it on that date because it was in the middle of National Police Officers Week. Law enforcement agencies all over the United States held some type of ceremony last week. Unfortunately many departments had to remember one of their own as one of the 140 officers killed in the line of duty in 2008. We were fortunate because we did not have to hold a memorial service. I say fortunate because one of our deputies was shot four times in 2008 with a .45 auto and survived.

During our award ceremony we presented Deputy Don Hayden with a Medal Of Valor. This is the highest award a law enforcement department can bestow upon one of its members. We also gave Dispatcher Jessica Sinden a plaque for her outstanding job performance in the critical incident in which Deputy Hayden was shot. Jessica was our newest and most inexperienced dispatcher that night but she came through with flying colors and did a most impressive job handling the incident. We gave the 2008 Deputy of the Year plaque to Deputy Jimmy Bench for his all around excellent job performance in 2008. The ceremony was well attended and I would like to thank all of the people who took a moment out of their day to attend.

In closing for this week, I would again remind all to please drive with care and to keep your actions legal. We do not have room for you in the jail but as I have previously said, the lights work very well now and the bulb is bright.

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