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The Sheriff’s View #7 for Feb. 9 to 13
The Sheriff’s View #7 for Feb. 9 to 13

Sheriff J.B. King
Here we go again for one more written column of thrills and chills. This one will be harder than most to do because I was not here for a good size chunk of this past week. Once again I was missing in action to attend the mandatory training provided by the Missouri Sheriff’s Association, usually referred to as the MSA.

I have detailed this information before but we always seem to have new readers who have just recently discovered the Sheriff’s View series so I will do so again. Under the current Missouri law as a Missouri Sheriff I am required to take and pass twenty hours of additional training each year that has been approved by the Missouri Sheriff’s Association. The objective is to keep the many Missouri sheriffs current with all of the latest developments that can affect their offices. Should I fail to attend the training, the Pulaski County Clerk is authorized under the current law to deduct $2,000 from my yearly salary. So the bottom line is that I will attend school and I will like it, or else!

The mid-winter conference was held from Feb. 4 to 6 at the Lake of the Ozarks. There was one major hitch this year: one the class presenters failed to show up so we could only earn ten hours of credit. The MSA always tries to schedule more hours then needed because they have found over the years that getting all 114 Missouri sheriffs into one room and keeping them there for three full days is somewhat like herding cats around deep in the Mark Twain National Forest. It just does not happen.

I know one sheriff who missed most of the Thursday session and all of the Friday session because he had to leave on Thursday for a federal court case in St. Louis. Another sheriff did not make the session at all because he had just had a homicide occur in his county. We have 22 hours of training set for the August 2009 conference so they can make this up. There are also hours available to take at the Marijuana Conference in April of this year.

One of the surprises for this conference was that one of the class presenters was the attorney who will represent me in Pulaski County Circuit Court on Friday, Feb. 13, regarding the petition or lawsuit or whatever it is called that the former sheriff, Mr. J.T. Roberts, filed over the 2008 sheriff’s election in Pulaski County. We were able to have a discussion of the issues in this case. In any event I am sure the local media will cover the court action on Friday the 13th and I should not have to write much on this topic next week.

In many respects, the training of the sheriffs at these sessions is only part of the benefit that can be obtained. We had forty new sheriffs take office this year and for the most part they looked very lost at the conference. The older sheriffs kept telling them to ask questions if they had a problem and a lot of mini-training sessions were held after hours as they did ask the questions.

Then there are other contacts that you can make. I believe that I am close to a deal with another sheriff for several of his older patrol cars that he is taking offline. We still have several issues to work out but right now my hopes are very high on this possible deal. We have a number of cars with over 200,000 miles on them that I would like to get out of our fleet before they bust us down for new engines and transmissions. Keep your fingers crossed.

I understand from my staff that while I was gone we had two “law days” this past week in circuit court that required us to produce the maximum number of inmates for court and we also had multiple false fire alarms at the courthouse on the law days. I am told there was a certain amount of stress and confusion in the building because of the alarms. I am told the inmate transport van broke down and that did not help the situation very much. I am also told that Capt. William Anderson, the officer in charge while I was gone, could be seen pulling chunks of hair off his scalp. OK, that part of the column was a slight exaggeration, but only because Bill has his hair cut way too short to effectively pull. I am also told that every job was completed and that all inmates and employees survived the week.

The January dispatch totals are now ready for print. They had 3,571 telephone calls. They had 966 people visit at the front window. We had 43 animal calls, 15 domestics, and the dispatch team got 8 warrants at the window. In addition the dispatch team helped the road Deputy warrant team locate 13 people who had a total of 18 active warrants. The current calls for service/case number count stands at 781.

In next week’s column I shall try to remember to do a special report on the status of the sheriff’s office dispatch unit for 2009 as it relates to the budget cuts this year. Until then I will once again ask that all of you drive in a very safe fashion and please keep your actions legal. We do not want your jail business this year but if you just have to drop in for a visit the light will be on!

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