The Sheriff’s View #48 for Nov. 24 to 28, 2008

Sheriff J.B. King

The Sheriff’s View #48 for Nov. 24 to 28, 2008

Sheriff J.B. King
Welcome aboard one more time for another visit with the deputies of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s department. We seem to have had a fairly quiet week so there is not a lot of news to report but we do have a few items to write about today.

The calls for service/case number count as of 1:00pm on 11-23-08 was 9,769. Last week it was 9,599 so we only gained 170 this past week. Compared to what we have been racking up the past few months that total reflected a slow week. I do believe that we shall break the 10,000 mark this year.

We have very good news to report this week. The folks from the Grace Covenant Christian Center have presented us with a very nice donation from their Hallelujah Harvest celebration. Their desire was for the money to be spent on safety equipment for the deputies. I had planned to purchase more car radio repeater systems but I have a very nice bill in my possession right now for ballistic vests and no real place to find the money for payment. So it may be at the last minute I will be forced to make a chance in plans.

As we near the end of the Pulaski County fiscal year the money in several budget lines has run out or we are way over. We are in especially bad shape with the inmate board bill total that we must pay to the other counties for housing our inmates for the year. In 2006 we paid out $379,023.00 and in 2007 we paid out $357,770.00. So for the year 2008 I asked for $360,000.00 in the budget for inmate board. The Pulaski County Commission allocated $300,000.00 for this year’s board bill. Surprise we are well over the $300K mark right now. Frankly I do not know where the board total will stop this year.

Another area will be the automobile expense issue. In 2006 we spent $115,423.00 and in 2007 we spent $136,619.00. For 2008 we set the budget at $130,000.00 and I think I can safely say the exploding cost of gasoline in 2008 will mean that we will be over the budget in auto expense. But the recent meltdown in gas prices just might carry us through the year. It will be interesting to see just how we do measure up on auto expense.

I would also like to add a note here for the people who we do business with. The Commission has not yet told us when they will cut off the payment of bills for this year. My own guess would be December 13, 2008, but that is just a guess. So if you are holding a bill for us please submit it soon.

One of our old drug cases made the news on 11-21-08 when Norris Robertson entered a plea of guilty in connection with the ecstasy drug sales case that we helped the United State’s Postal Inspectors with earlier this year. The other two defendants, Anthony and Laken Haggard had already entered a plea so this case is now closed out. I suspect the United States Attorney’s office in Springfield, Missouri, will have a news release out soon on this one.

The big event for the week was the complete shutdown of our office due to the first electrical steps necessary to rig the courthouse for the new generator. The work crew completely cut off the courthouse square. They completely removed the wires leading to the courthouse and we had nothing. When they did the new connection there was a nasty short circuit and they had to redo some of the wiring. We were out of business long enough that we were starting to think we might have to go with our emergency plan to move all the inmates from the jail and send them to Miller County. But they got the power restored and the heat kicked back.

We had fired up our old generator the day before so we were confident that it would start on Saturday morning and it did start. We were pleased until the switch was thrown to send the generator power to the jail. The generator power did not transfer to our internal circuits and we had nothing. The Waynesville Rural Fire department came to our rescue with a portable generator big enough that we could supply emergency lighting for the jail. We survived the affair and I would like to say thanks to Capt. Bill Anderson who supervised our work on Saturday.

I will also say that the new 300KW generator cannot be put in place and made operational fast enough to please me. This is something we have needed for years. I would like to thank Commissioner Bill Farnham for taking the lead on this project and for getting the job done. I would also like to thank the directors of the Courthouse Sales Fund for the actual purchase of the new generator.

Once again I seem to be at the needed word count for the column. So once again I will ask you to please drive safe and please stay legal. We do not want your jail business but if you must fail to be a good boy or girl we will leave the light on for you.

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