Benton County Sheriff's Dispatch

By: 
Eric Knox
Benton County Sheriff
Hello Benton County, it’s been awhile since my last dispatch! The winter months and cold weather didn’t slow down anything for us in law enforcement. A lot has happened in the time since my last posting. Benton County voters approved our sales tax creating the ability to build an updated, safe and efficient facility! Thank you to those who trust and believe in our ability to make good decisions with your tax payer dollars. To those of you who didn’t vote yes, I look forward to the opportunity to change your mind when you see the positive impact on the community and the numbers after the first year of operation. Remember, my office is transparent, so you will have all the data! 
The work didn’t stop there, now the real work begins! The County Commissioners did not slow down after the vote. They immediately went to work on finalizing the land purchase and submitted requests for some of the preliminary site testing that has to be done to ensure structural integrity and to help aid in better bids from the excavators. Knowing exactly what’s under the grass before you start digging is a huge benefit and just plain common sense! Many other things are in motion at the same time. Just to mention a few: (RFQ) Request for Quotation on a construction manager; firming up the financing; adding detail to the layout, and the list goes on! There are a ton of moving parts to an undertaking of this size.
We instituted our Taser program! Every staff member who wants to carry the lifesaving instrument on their duty belt now has that opportunity. All those who will carry a Taser volunteered to take a hit, probes and all, to feel the effect of the device and to better understand the importance of its use. Deputy Ehlers, our K9 Deputy, demonstrated this for you in a video on our Facebook page. You can watch it at https://www.facebook.com/SheriffKnox/videos/894779670701020. Please like and follow our page at Benton County MO Sheriff’s Office for updates on what’s going on with your Sheriff’s Office. 
I’m sad to report that we have lost some excellent, experienced staff to higher paying positions with better benefits over the winter. We have been able to fill two of those positions already and have several great candidates for the third opening. In the early fall, we will be adding one brand new position to our ranks to increase patrols and help with the call volume. This cycle is not new to Benton County and other third class counties who can’t afford to compete with communities who have huge tax bases. Please be patient with the staff and the new deputies training. Although we have lost some experience and wisdom from our battle tested deputies, we have eager, motivated and intelligent new deputies ready to prove they are up to the challenges presented in Benton County. I expect the same polite professionalism extended to you as I did out of the experienced staff. If you see anything other than that, I need to know about it! Each and every one of these deputies are an extension of the Sheriff; carrying the same authority governed by the Constitution and a direct reflection on myself and this Office.
If you see one of your civil servants out in public, please tell them thank you! Whether it’s a dispatcher, jail staff, police officer, deputy sheriff, volunteer fire fighter, EMS, Highway Patrol, folks in the court house or probation and parole, every one of them works under conditions that most people would not tolerate and are underpaid for the jobs they do. These dedicated people are all on the same team, working hard for you. 
Thank you for your time, 
Sheriff Knox.
 

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