If it were possible, today's assignment for my detectives would be to seek out where the 2013 year went. It is truly hard for me to believe that, in three days, a year has passed since I took office on January 01, 2013. A few days ago I was speaking with retired Sheriff J.B. King about this very topic, who agreed and then conveyed that the following years will streak by even more rapidly. These were not the exact words I wanted to hear but reality will probably be just that, especially when one has a job they enjoy as much as I do being your Sheriff.
In reflecting over this past year, one of the primary reasons it passed so quickly for me is due to the magnitude of events that came our way, especially the bizarre and unordinary ones. Mother Nature also threw us a curve ball or two, with weather related and nature-made catastrophes which was responsible for taking lives and the loss of massive amounts of property. An old adage I like is, "one is not judged as much by the bad events in their lives but how they recover from those bad events." Even thought the floods of August in Pulaski County were catastrophic to us, a lot of good came from the bad. Despite our affiliations to towns or groups, our citizens put them all aside and became part of a mass community recovery mission to help restore the affected personal lives and property, making us even more proud of Pulaski County.
Our daily attack on crime continues and I can see where progress has been made this year; however, more work lies ahead. Your county deputies are continually working hard to keep our crime rate down, and their efforts can been seen when looking a decreasing crime rate and elevated efforts with other local, state and federal agencies in combating our war against drugs in Pulaski County. Unfortunately, heroin addiction seems to be the catalyst for overdoses and related deaths, along with property crimes, in the 2013 year. A recently established Heroin Roundtable Committee will be making aggressive efforts to help diminish heroin/drug related crimes during this New Year.
It is no secret that a comparative ratio of cops-to-criminals will show the criminal faction by far outnumbers law enforcement officials, so departments throughout this county have made significant progress in working joint endeavors during the 2013 year. We want the criminals to know that jurisdictional boundaries no longer exist and we are conveying the "you can run but you can't hide" message to them. This endeavor not only pertains to Pulaski County law enforcement agencies but also includes neighboring counties and cities. Multi-jurisdictional efforts are working daily to deter property and drug related crimes, and the results are very noticeable. In addition, your local prosecutor and judges are being aggressive in prosecuting and sentencing our hard-core and repeated offenders.
Page 2 of 2 - Noticeable changes have also been made to this agency, with more to come. This past year the jail saw an $85,000 renovation project and the adding of a commissary, which will aid in the funding of an additional jailer beginning next week. Also, your Sheriff's Department is driving six new vehicles, which are showing a huge savings in fuel and maintenance costs. These cars supply your deputies with a safer and more proficient vehicle to respond to calls during adverse weather conditions. Funding will be a yearly issue for any county office, so we feel fortunate to have received slightly over $100,000 in State and Federal grants this year. Some predicted changes for the 2014 year will possibly be another renovation project to the jail, along with the Sheriff's administrative offices moving to a new (but nearby) location.
We have also tried hard to reach out to our community so we can hear the voice of all Pulaski County citizens during the 2013 year. This has been accomplished by holding Town Hall meetings, setting up booths at town events throughout the year, along with establishing committees for public (and youth) involvement. Also, we are making use of all media outlets to convey information, including our Facebook and Sheriff's Department Web-site. As your Sheriff, I value your opinions and input and am doing my best to make the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department a transparent agency for you.
In closing, I want to express my gratitude for your support during the 2013 year, and I am looking forward to another year serving as your Pulaski County Sheriff!
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.