Welcome aboard one more time as we travel around Pulaski County with the deputies of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office. Today we also have to include Phelps County because we, the Pulaski County Emergency Response Team better known as PCERT, and I just got back from a city of Rolla mutual aid assist with a hostile subject firing shots in and around his home in Rolla. This was a great SWAT callout for us, St. Robert police, Rolla police, and Troop F Missouri State Highway Patrol, working together as one unit to handle the call without injury to anyone.
Sheriff J.B. King
While we have not devoted a great deal of press to this issue, the four SWAT teams listed above have trained together many times over the past three years. I believe that it paid off today. All team members from all four teams knew each other and even better they knew the capability of the other teams and their individual members. Today we had units around the house that contained members of several teams working together. That is something most SWAT teams try to avoid and they always try to work as a single department unit.
However, that was not the case today. As we neared the end of this incident, our team negotiator was talking to the suspect and he was covered by our team members along with Rolla team members. The assault team was Rolla police and Missouri State Highway Patrol snipers along with Pulaski County and Rolla snipers covered the house like a blanket. When the suspect threw away his handgun that he had been firing throughout the night, I thought things were going to work out.
Then he came back out onto the porch with an SKS rifle. I was in a sniper perch with two snipers at that time and you could hear their breathing rate suddenly change. The situation looked grim for many minutes. Our negotiator finally got him to put down the rifle and after several more long minutes of coaxing managed to get him to move far enough away from the rifle that Rolla SWAT members were able to rush into a blocking position between him and the rifle before they charged him. Seconds later it was over with a happy ending for all but one. Once again, training and teamwork saved the day: no injury to anyone and suspect in custody.
This event had a bad effect on the annual Shop with a Cop day in both Rolla and St. Robert. Quite a few officers and deputies who had planned to attend the event in both counties were unable to attend and the other officers had to pick up the slack. I am told the day went well at the St. Robert Wal-Mart and I would like to say thanks to all who helped us with donations. We were supposed to have 130 children today to help shop for Christmas. This event truly makes the holiday season a lot brighter for all that are helped and for all who help do the work. Merry Christmas!
In other news our calls, for service/case number count has soared to 10,803 as of 2:15pm on Dec. 18. We just might break 11,000 for this year. It will be interesting to see where the count stops. Our inmate roster has 53 names today. I checked our new website a few seconds ago and I was visitor number 1,817 since we opened the site for business. That seems to be a lot of hits for a small sheriff’s website in just a few weeks.
We also have news today from the courthouse in general. As of Dec. 15, the county has suspended the routine payment of bills as we get ready for the upcoming January budget affray. In order to know how to budget for 2011 you must first know what you did for 2010 and since the county clerk’s office only has three employees putting all of that info together takes some time.
Pulaski County Collector Terri Mitchell plans to have her office open for business on Dec. 31 which is a holiday for county employees. Terri and her crew will be open for business in order to give citizens one last chance to pay their taxes without going into the penalty phase that starts in January. I will have some of my deputies at the courthouse that day for security.
As we move closer to the Christmas holiday, I would ask all citizens to taper back the drinking that takes place this time of the year. We do not need the fires, falls, traffic wrecks, suicides, domestic assaults, DWI’s, and all the other mayhem that seems to occur when booze is mixed with the holiday spirit. We have enough business going on as it is and we do not need any extra calls so please drink responsibility.
Once again I must close out the column for today. Once again I will ask that you drive with care and keep your actions legal. We do not need the vehicle wrecks or your body in our jail so mind your manners. But if you must visit us remember that the light bulb burns bright!
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