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Breaking News => Sneak Peek Sheriff's View => Topic started by: Lepard LLC on June 15, 2015, 06:09:10 PM

Title: “The Sheriff’s View” (#124)
Post by: Lepard LLC on June 15, 2015, 06:09:10 PM
“The Sheriff’s View” (#124)

 Those who keep track of activities of your Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department know that State and Federal grants play a major role with smaller agencies such as this one when dealing with personnel and equipment. Just last week this Sheriff’s Department was notified by the Department of Public Safety that once again we will be receiving the Deputy Sheriff’s Salary Supplemental Fund (DSSSF) grant. The grant application was submitted several months back, which totals approximately $75,000 in funding for your County deputies. Included in this year’s grant is a $1,000 pay-raise for the deputies. This will be the first time since 2008 that the deputies received a grant pay-raise. The DSSSF grant is only for commissioned deputies, which excludes most jailers, dispatchers and the administrative staff.

In knowing that most law enforcement officers in this State are underpaid, I spent several hours researching this topic. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor (and other sources), the average salary of a law enforcement officer in the U.S. is approximately $54,000 annually. These salaries are averaged in numerous categories, with the lowest reflecting that only 10% of all law enforcement officers fall in this category, which is under $33,000 yearly. Sadly, almost the entire state of Missouri is included in the lowest 10% category, with the exceptions being the large metropolitan areas.

With the complex requirements placed on law enforcement professionals and with more coming from legislators, I find the above statistics unacceptable for the work required of lawmen/women. Even though the involved individuals will tell you that they are not in this profession for the money, the stringent training and knowledge required of them, along with the dangers of the job, truly necessitates a pay scale deserving of their occupation. Despite any college accredited hours, an individual wishing to become a deputy sheriff will attend a Sheriff’s training academy for approximately 700 hours (11 months) of intensive training. Once this individual receives his/her Peace Officer’s license, they are also required to complete at least 48 hours of additional training per designated cycle. As you can see, your deputies in Pulaski County are very educated in their profession and, as reflected above, they don’t even come close to a competitive salary. Hopefully this will be changed in the near future.

For the next topic, let’s talk about “hoaxes.” For those jokesters at the office or in school, these might be funny to some but when it comes to public safety, hoaxes should never occur. To drive the point home, there are several laws which deal with individuals wishing to place false alarms to police, fire and EMS services, and those violating this law will be prosecuted.

I will be very brief in discussing hoaxes in this article, due to one of our local media outlets that is planning to release a story about an event that occurred last week involving a hoax. Let common sense prevail if one wishes to test this system and realize that when a false incident is reported, it takes away emergency services from those actually in need.

Last week there was a meeting between several mental health agencies and administrators from the Sheriff’s Department to discuss the mental well-being of inmates in the Pulaski County Jail. As one might assume, mental health issues are constant with inmates. My gratitude goes out to the individuals that are assisting the Sheriff’s Department with the mental health issues of the jail.

This concludes another week’s summary as your Pulaski County sheriff, and I hope to see you here again next week.