Friday, January 13, 2023

From the desk of Benton County Sheriff Eric Knox

Hello Benton County and Happy New Year!

Christmas time is when I usually talk about serial numbers and the preservation of your valuables and January brings a summary of some of the previous year’s statistics and a little insight to the upcoming year. I’m going to list some of the more serious stats here for 2022 that I think you will be interested in but a full list of our calls will be available here at your sheriff’s office. Second Degree Burglary, 31 up from 24 in 2021. 

Death investigations which includes any deceased person outside a city limit, 43 up from 28 in 2021, Domestic assault, 54 up from 47 in 2021, Possession of a Controlled Substance (non-marijuana) 53, down from 63 in 2021 (This is not from lack of drugs in our community. It reflect the sheriff’s office working short staffed.)Property Damage 2nd Degree 40, up from 38 in 2021, Stealing $750 or more 36, up from 34 in 2021, Non-traffic Related Warrant Arrests, 60 down from 90 in 2021 (Again, this reflects being short staffed.) Traffic Related Warrant Arrest, 39 one more than 2021. A complete list is available for your review here at the office.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for putting your trust in me to carry out the Office of Sheriff of Benton County. 

You believed in me when I approached you for a new jail, building for the future rather than building small and adding on later. I am pleased to announce that your new Jail provided an additional $1,813,000.00 of income into the county through housing Federal detainees. Keep in mind there are some bills paid out of this number so we don’t get to keep it all. 

This was what I presented to you during our town hall meetings in the pre-vote and informational phase and now has been realized. We were able to exceed the $1,500,000.00 I predicted due to the excellence of the jail management and the men and women doing the work back there in the jail. I am very proud of the job they have done and continued improvement. 

What these men and women have done back there is nothing short of a small miracle. The commission was able to give a much needed pay raises across the entire county workforce using some of these funds. Positions within the county are still underfunded compared to the industry standard but any pay raise for these hardworking, dedicated employees is welcome and appreciated.

With the Friends of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office leading the way, we intend on providing a citizens academy this year. This would allow small groups of the community to experience a shortened version of the training and education required to be a law enforcement officer. 

The Friends are currently raising funds for a MILO training system which a state of the art, digital force-option simulator which allows military, law enforcement and community to experience real world simulations on various real life situations such as shoot/don’t shoot, car stops, domestic violence and just about any other interaction involving force on force. 

There is no room in the county budget for this equipment but it will be an integral part of our citizen’s academy and benefit area law enforcement in training and even qualifying on various weapons platforms.

We plan on taking a look at raising funds to build a small law enforcement use only animal care facility, to house animals in emergency situations like quarantine for dog bites, road side arrests where animals are in the vehicle or even warrant arrest where animals are involved with no one to take custody of the furry family. Often times, my staff feed, water and care for these animals on their own.

The commissioners approved all of our training budget this year so that will be a top priority. Training is so important in any organization but exceptionally so in the law enforcement and jail setting.

For any further information on our statistical numbers, budget items, concerns with your case or any of my staff, please stop by the office at 1620 E. Main, call the office at 660-438-6135 opt 3 or email me at 

Thank you for your overwhelming support. I look forward to serving you in 2023! Sheriff Knox

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