A majority of this week's article will be following up on a few topics I wrote about last week. First of all, the Heroin Roundtable meeting last Monday went very well. There were approximately 25 individuals who attended, and a very diverse group they were. Attendees included counselors and medical professionals, law enforcement officials from multiple City, County, Military and State agencies, the Coroner and representatives from our ambulance district, along with individuals from local community organizations. Due to interest from some of our neighboring counties, next month's meeting should grow significantly.
This was a very good start in defining our initiative and working toward the goal of alerting and educating citizens about the dangers of drug abuse. More specifically, we wish to inform the public about the dangerous heroin that we now have in this area, along with trying to prevent overdoses and related deaths. All attendees realize that law enforcement is just a minor element in preventing drug addiction, which actually is more of a community problem. Therefore, our focus will be on topics such drug education and prevention, development of alternate programs for arrestees, more accessible rehabilitation treatment centers, along with the development of re-entry programs for those addicts who once again wish to be productive citizens. Several of our local media outlets have also volunteered their services to assist in this endeavor.
Last Thursday the County Commissioners received a proposal from the Sheriff's Department to renovate portions of the existing jail to temporarily house additional inmates. This would involve converting some unused building space into dorm and cell housing for those incarcerated in the Pulaski County Jail. If this proposal is approved, we are estimating that an additional 26 Pulaski County inmates can remain in our jail daily, rather than shipping these individuals to other counties for boarding. Despite the fact we would inherit additional operation expenses, at the price of $35 per day to outsource inmates, the equation of 26 x $35 x 365 can be very significant one for our tax-paying citizens.
This year's Pulaski County Shop with a Cop endeavor was a huge success, in which over $12,000 was raised for the program. Congratulations goes to those who worked so hard to make 120 children's Christmas dreams come true this year. This week, law enforcement officers will accompany at least 120 young citizens to our local Wal-Mart store to begin their Christmas shopping. Despite the fact that most people view law enforcement officials as "crime-fighters," this is just another aspect of law enforcement serving your community, and a very enjoyable one at that!
My next item should have been in last week's article but I wish to thank those who brought food to the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department over the Thanksgiving season to help feed our staff, deputies and others. This was a very generous act which was very much appreciated.
Our new Sheriff Department Calendars were delivered a week ago, and we would be glad to share some with our community. These are large wall calendars which reflect a "family photo" of many of your Pulaski County Sheriff's Department employees, along with the names and small ads of our generous sponsors who made this project possible. In years past, creating and printing the calendars was done by an out-of-state company, but this year we chose a local business for this. If you would like one of these calendars, please stop by our office and just ask. We wish to thank our local business community who made the financing of these calendars possible.
This concludes another week's summary as your Pulaski County sheriff, and I hope to see you here again next week. For more information about the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department and other related items of interest, please visit our Web-site at (www.pcsheriff2.com), or on Facebook.
As always, stay safe and do something positive for your community.