Sheriff J.B. King
Welcome aboard one more time for another column full of whatever it is we are full of today. I do have some news today but nothing real earth shaking to report. I am sorry to have to say that KY-3 TV has decided to drop coverage of my column on their web page. I received a message from Brad at KY-3 that due to low readership my column and several others were going to be dropped. I enjoyed the coverage while it lasted and my thanks to KY-3 for the coverage.
As of 1:17 p.m. on June 4, our calls for service case number count stands at 4,836. This pretty much means we are going to be over 5,000 calls by the end of June and that pretty much means another 10,000 plus total year. Well and done so far and so much for my repeated and apparently very feeble attempts to foolishly request a recession in work via this column. CaseNet tells me we are up to 791 cases for the year filed in circuit court.
In last week’s column, I threw in a reference to the pesky cicadas and their noise. Much to my surprise not a single person even mentioned that to me this week. Along the same lines I will once again mention that starting today, June 4, we have the sixty-ninth anniversary of the critical naval battle around the Midway Atoll in the South Pacific Ocean. We also have the Woman’s Softball College World Series that started on Thursday of this week. Those two mentions of non-police work should be sufficient for this column.
The grant front is a bummer to the point where I probably should come up with more non-police news to pass along because the grant news is not very good. On Tuesday of the past week the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Activity group met and we had a grand total of $1,497,000 to pass around over the rural parts of the state. That meeting was okay, but the one on Thursday at the Meramec Regional Planning Commission to award the grant funding for the entire Region I zone (same as the Troop I of the Missouri State Highway Patrol) was a disaster. In a nutshell last year we had $630,000 to award and this year we got $53,000 to award. Bluntly said if you turned in an application hoping for funding you wasted your time this year.
We had 33 applications to judge and we could only do one grant, so we went with our number one priority project that we as a group have funded each year since I have been on the board. That project is the Rolla Fire Department Emergency Disaster Response Team. These guys will respond anywhere in the Region I area for any emergency and right now they are in Joplin. As a group, the voting members of Region I felt that helping the response team would give us the biggest bang for our feeble number of bucks. For the record, we were also told to be ready for another funding cut next year.
If the funds are cut again next year we might as well stay home. The entire funding issue was also complicated by what looks like a takeover of control from the local voting members of Region I and moving said control to the state level. I suspect that the members of the Region I agencies have a much better grasp on what we need then the folks at the state level. I also suspect that this issue is not over because we had some mad people at the meeting.
I received my monthly budget expense forms on Friday and so far this year it appears that we are doing fairly well on meeting our expenses. Auto expense, especially gas costs are way too close to call right now but we might have a chance to stay under budget for the year. Likewise the inmate board bill which is always our main budget killer also looks close and it is way too early to call that one but again we might have a chance to stay under budget.
Our efforts to put a Dodge Charger into our fleet continue to move forward. Additional work was done on the car this week but was complicated by several other cars that had problems and forced Maj. Tom Cristoffer to leave the Dodge project and work on routine car problems.
I would like to say a word of public thanks to local attorney Wayne Gifford. Some months ago, he donated almost 10,000 small plastic bottles to the department. The size made them perfect for storage of small evidence items, tool parts, and so forth, but these bottles did not have any lids. Our evidence officer was able to find a supplier for 10,000 lids and suddenly for a mere $180 we have almost 10,000 evidence containers to use. Thank you, Wayne.
I seem to be a bit short on words this week but I also seem to be out of words so once again I will ask you to drive with care for we do not need the car wrecks. I will also ask that you keep your actions legal for we do not need your body in our jail, but as you know, if you must visit, we will leave the bright light bulb on just for you.
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