Welcome aboard one more time for a new column on a nice day with rain landing on our heads. Seems like I have said that before this year.
This is column 24 for the year. Our case number/call for service count stands at 4,026 this morning. I would like to tell you where we stood at this time last year but I just reviewed that column from last year and I did not include the case number count in the column. I did get on the soapbox and tout the merits of a law enforcement sales tax at length in last year’s column and I failed to include the count.
My deputies have asked that I once again remind people that house and business address numbers must be displayed in a location where we can see them. If you dial 911 and ask for help, we cannot help you if we cannot find you. Along the same lines, if your burglar alarm goes off on a routine basis without proper cause, that creates another problem for us. We do not refuse to respond to a repeat alarm, but if we know that it has sounded without cause several other times, then that call will get a much lower priority ranking then other calls we may have to answer. Since we are still budgeted for manpower at the “adequate coverage” level of two deputies per shift, those calls that get the lowest priority often do not get answered, and that defeats the idea of the burglar alarm in the first place. So if you come home and find a card from one of our deputies telling you of false alarms at your home, take action and have the alarm fixed.
The jinx seems to be solidly fixed on one of our cars which has broken down and been “repaired” at least five times in the last week. I was told recently when checked in that it went down again.
I have been working on a possible grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for some assistance with a combination grant/car purchase loan. Right now I do not know if Pulaski County qualifies for the grant, but I hope to have an answer on Monday morning. It would be nice if we could pick up several much newer cars for use. We spend an extraordinary amount of time fussing around with our cars trying to keep them in service.
We had several events last week where we took action in criminal cases that I am not yet in a position to release information about. Hopefully we can do that soon. We also had a “law day” last week that required us to shuffle the inmates around extensively to make sure the correct people were in the Pulaski County jail on the correct day for a court appearance. This is another area where we waste a lot of time in transports and transport costs. It would be nice if we had one central jail here in Waynesville and all of our inmates were in that jail all of the time.
On Friday, I joined with many other local and nearby law enforcement leaders as we looked into the possibility of a massive communications grant on the federal level that would completely change the way we all do business. The concept was the idea of Chief Curtis Curenton of the St. Robert Police Department and I personally think it was a great idea, but this will also be an idea that will take a lot of work and at least two years or more to show any kind of progress.
On Saturday, I attended a class that focused on church violence. Yes, I know that seems to be an odd statement, but over the past several months all across our nation, from a factory setting to schools, churches, hospitals, and even an old folks long-term care home, there have been determined attacks by armed gunmen bent on massive human destruction. This appears to be an issue that will continue to concern law enforcement.
The class was held at the Grace Covenant Christian Center in Waynesville and was hosted by Pastor Judy Tillet. It was well-attended by pastors from many local churches. We even had people there from the Kansas City and the Jefferson City area. The release of information about such a class can be a bit tricky at times. While I have no problem with telling you that we trained and planned for such a situation in the future, I will not tell you exactly what we discussed or what policies we might adopt as a result of the training. I do believe that there will be other sessions of this type in the future because we woke a lot of pastors up and changed their way of thinking on Saturday. In any event, this was another case of “plan for the future but pray that you never have to use the training.” We chose to take our position on the side of “be prepared.”
Once again, I believe that I have stumbled through another column. We still have way too many people on our jail list and we do not need you. Stay away from our jail. Please drive carefully and keep your actions legal. The jail lights are on if you must visit.