Sheriff J.B. King
Welcome aboard on a nice Ozark day with some sunshine and lots of tall wet grass to mow. We had a fairly busy week last week and I do have a number of topics to report. I could rehash a few news releases but for the most part you already have those in your news. But we will try to add some more news to the total.
As of 7:12 p.m. on May 21, our case number/calls for service count stands at 4,356 for the year. The inmate count this morning was 69 and I just checked Case Net to find that the prosecutor has now filed 714 cases so far this year. Our criminal business is booming and we are finding customers everywhere.
It is time to report on our latest vehicle that we hope to add to the fleet. This one will be a 2008 Dodge Charger with 82,000 miles and a lot of front end damage. We have it worked out that the vehicle purchase price along with the necessary front end parts will put us into this vehicle at about $7,200. We will do our own labor for most of the repairs. I think this will be a good addition for our fleet. And yes the fight is underway to see who will get this vehicle assigned to them. In a way this purchase was a necessary evil. Used Ford Interceptor models are getting harder to find and Dodge Charger police models are becoming easier to find. So we knew that sooner or later we would have to try one out so Maj. Tom Cristoffer could begin to understand the mystery of the setup and repair of a Charger. The fact that we will get into this car about $3,000 under the normal purchase price is just extra gravy on the table. I will keep you all advised as this project moves forward.
On the COPS grant front we were successful in getting the first and short half of the grant application accepted and approved by the COPS grant office. Now we are working on the hard and long part. You were not allowed to move onto the second part until the first part was accepted. The second half of the grant is 67 pages long. County Clerk Brent Bassett and I have been feeding Kelly Sink-Blair at the Meramec Regional Planning Commission the information she needs and as we move into this next week we are up against the wall. The deadline for the grant is May 25. Tune in next weekend for the final report on our success or failure to file the report on time. But, please remember even if the grant is filed on time we only have about a 13 percent chance of being selected for a new deputy.
In other news, the announcement of my retirement seems to have sparked some of the media to reach for the bottom of the barrel and do a story on my retirement. KY-3 even called me at home on a Sunday evening to get the facts. I suppose there will be dancing in the streets as people celebrate my departure but so far all I have heard from are people who want me to go for a third term. Sorry folks that will not happen. Next year will be my 43rd active year in law enforcement and it is time to go. I have reached the age where the spirit is willing but the body does not always obey the commands it is given by the brain. Also, the body parts that do work well seem to hurt a lot so it is time to take life a whole lot easier. Besides if I run again the wife tells me alimony also hurts a lot.
However, I will make you all one promise, I do not retire until Dec. 31 of next year and I have no intention of getting short-timers disease or slacking up in any way. I will continue to do the best I can with what I have been given until the last day.
I do have good news on another front. I completed and returned a memo of understanding with the Missouri Sheriff’s Association yesterday on our new iris scanning device that I hope will be installed in our jail before the year is over. The new Iris scanner will be the result of a federal grant that has been applied to the entire state of Missouri. If you will remember last year I told you all in a column that I was part of the voting board that transferred some grant money around in order to help move the iris scan project forward faster. This will be a giant leap forward in technology for the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office and I will be quite pleased to see the unit installed and ready for work.
Actually I also have good news on a second front. We had a site visit on Thursday of the past week from the folks who will be installing our new recording system for the dispatch telephones and radio. This is something we have needed for years but the money was not there. Once again I managed to get a federal grant that will pay for this project and this will also be a great step forward for the Sheriff’s office. We currently do not have the ability to play back a 911 type call for help made to our dispatch. So if any of the information is missed because the caller is hurt, screaming or otherwise excited we lose the data. Our new system will allow the dispatcher on duty the ability to immediately play back the call as many times as needed in order to get all the information we need from the call. We hope to have this new system up and running in about four weeks.
I seem to have blasted through another column. Once again I will ask you to please drive with care because we do not need the wrecks and please keep your actions legal. We do not need you in our jail. But as you well know the jail light bulb burns bright.
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