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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

To the Citizens of Bates County,

To the Citizens of Bates County,

The last few weeks have been quite busy at the Sheriff’s Office. So far this year we have noticed an increase in the number of calls for service we are receiving. The Sheriff’s Office is responsible for patrolling 851 square miles of the county, responding to calls for service in the county, serving civil papers for the courts, assisting other agencies within the county when requested, and responding to their calls for service when other agencies don’t have coverage.
In 2019 and years before we typically received around 8000 calls for service. In 2020, with the pandemic, we saw a drop in calls for service to a low of 6500. So far this year we have seen a 30% increase in calls for service compared to 2019. This year we are on track to answer approximately 10,000 calls for service. This is the time of year we start to see an increase in calls for service because of the weather change and everyone is getting out to enjoy it. We expect that to occur even more after a year of being cooped up and not being able to travel and socialize. With our calls for service numbers up already, we are being stretched thin with the uptick in calls for service.

We have received several complaints regarding response times of deputies. Please know that your call is important to us and we are doing our best to respond to every call as soon as possible. Response times may be longer than usual as we see our calls for service increasing. To be clear, when a call for service comes in it is entered into the system and will be handled in a triage style, where the most serious calls for service are handled first and then the others handled after. In the event that the serious calls for service outnumber the deputies on duty our policy is to call off-duty deputies to respond to those calls. Please keep in mind with the 6th largest county in the State of Missouri normal response times can already take up to 45 minutes.

Along with the several complaints we have received many compliments and Thank You’s for the service that we provide. Many times when our staff are on lunch we find that some person has taken care of the bill and we want to say Thank You to the many who have done this. Your kindness during these times in law enforcement are so important to us. We have been asked what a normal citizen can do to help us in this time of craziness. We just ask that you continue your support and continued patience with our deputies. Understand that when a deputy passes you and is not running emergency equipment it doesn’t mean they are not going to a call for service. Most likely they are responding to a call for service that has been pending for a little while but doesn’t rise to the level of using lights and sirens.

“I want to say that we are very lucky to have the men and women who serve the citizens of Bates County. Whether they are the ones you see in a uniform, working in the jail or answering 911 calls. They continue to go above and beyond, work long hours and sacrifice so much with their families so that the average citizen is protected day in and day out.” Says Sheriff Anderson. “This is a crazy time to attract young police officers and convince them that this type of service is for them. We are lucky to have the community support we have and we don’t take that for granted.”