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Sheriff’s View #25 for June 15 to 19, 2009
Sheriff’s View #25 for June 15 to 19, 2009

Sheriff J.B. King
Welcome aboard one more time. I understand that we had a busy weekend this past week but I am going to confess right up front that, for once, I was missing in action — I took two whole days off and hid in Branson. So I missed the action and I hope I got the reports correct that I am going to pass on to our readers.

I am told the biggest boo to occur this weekend happened about 2:49 a.m. on Sunday when we had two deputies on duty and we got two hot calls at the same time.

Call number one was suspicious activity in a residential neighborhood with an odd truck parked with lights on and then off, and about that same time, a shot was heard. Deputy number one went to this unknown action call by himself. The second call was simple — thirty guys fighting in the parking lot at a local adult entrainment center. We sent the second deputy to that call.

I suspect that you do not have to be a police officer of any type to recognize that both of these were “hot calls” and one officer was not the correct response to fix the situation. We are not in the state of Texas and the “one riot, one Ranger rule” does not apply here. Sending one deputy to both of these calls placed both of them in danger, but with our current budget constraints, we are squeezed into a position where we usually only have two deputies on duty at any given time. Hopefully we will be awarded the one federal grant that would add two extra deputies to our ranks, but the soonest that could occur would be late September of this year — not quick enough to help for the hot summer we have pending.

In any event, deputy number one had to handle his call alone. After a careful search, he reported that he found nothing out of the way to check. Deputy number two got a pleasant surprise when city police from both St. Robert and Waynesville backed him up in force. The nature of the backup response around here is that we seem to switch back and forth. Just last week (or was it the week before that?) Waynesville police got caught with only one or two officers on and every bad guy in the county was hanging out in their city. We spent the entire shift backing them up. St. Robert also had such a day a while back. So in the long run, we seem to even out on the calls and the requests for backup.

Our calls for service/case number count for this week stands at 4,229. The count for this same time last year stood at 4,763. Maybe just maybe the slight reduction in calls is going to continue for the entire year. We will keep out fingers crossed.

In other news, the eligibility of Pulaski County for a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant has not yet been verified. The grant would be a combination of a grant and a low-cost loan for us to purchase patrol vehicles for our fleet. If we do qualify, I have high hopes for this grant because right now the civil fee fund is in good shape and we might be able to afford five or maybe even six cars at once. I am speaking of used cars, of course, but the ability to add five 2006 Ford patrol cars at one time would just be overwhelming to us. Since our newest vehicle right now is the 2005 jail van, the idea of adding five or even six much newer cars just boggles the mind. Like I said, I have high hopes that we qualify for the grant.

In other grant news, our Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) grant request for $58,610 has been kicked back to us a second time. In checking the message, it appears we failed to initial a block on the grant application that we were supposed to check off. The necessary paperwork has been completed and taken the folks at the Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) to attach to the grant. I hope to submit the grant Monday via e-mail for the third time.

Once again I seem to be at the magic word count mark. I will ask that you all drive with care and keep your actions legal. The jail list is crowded and we have no room at the inn for you, nor can we afford the cost for you to stay at the inn. But if you just have to visit, the lights still work!

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