Sheriff's Office - Facts vs. Myths
1. The Sheriff's Posse:
Myth: If the Sheriff's Office is short of manpower and funding is so scarce, why do they provide staff and funding at the Springfield-Greene County Parks Equestrian Center?
Fact: While not a budgeted or physical part of the Greene County Sheriff's Office, the Sheriff's Posse of Greene County is a non-profit organization that supports the efforts and endeavors of the Greene County Sheriff's Office. The Posse, through volunteerism, promotes good horsemanship and fellowship through clinics, charity events, fundraising, trail rides, and other park events. While most members of the Sheriff's Posse are volunteers, a Greene County Sheriff's Office Corporal is also a staff member. This position is completely funded by the Springfield-Greene County Park Board. This Corporal is stationed at the Equestrian Center and is responsible for managing the educational programs. All of this Corporal's salary and benefits are reimbursed to Greene County by the Park Board.
2. Specialty Vehicles
Myth: The Greene County Sheriff's Office wasted money on specialty vehicles instead of hiring additional staff.
Fact: The Greene County Sheriff's Office obtained and utilizes each of the following vehicles in the described manner.
- Crime Scene Unit: This vehicle was paid for through a Federal Grant and seized drug money. Total Cost $89,661.40. This vehicle has been utilized over 20 times since it was purchased. This vehicle was purchased and built specifically with the processing of crime scenes in mind. This vehicle proved invaluable during the investigation of two double homicides in 2011. This vehicle provides shelter, equipment, computer / printing ability, technical support and a mini crime laboratory for GCSO Crime Scene Investigators.
- Greene County Sheriff's Mobile Command Post: This vehicle was awarded through a Missouri State grant. Part of the agreement in the GCSO receiving this vehicle was the requirement to respond with the Command Post to emergency events within 18 counties in the MSHP Region D area. This vehicle has been used at DWI checkpoints, major incidents and in Joplin after the tornados.
- Sheriff's Office ATV: This vehicle and the equipment on the vehicle were purchased with seized drug money. This vehicle was utilized by Deputies in the double homicide investigations of 2011, the Joplin tornados and the Ozark Empire Fair. These tasks could not have been done as effectively without the use of the ATV. This vehicle has not only transported needed equipment at crime scenes, but has been utilized to transport victims of homicides and natural disasters.
- Military vehicles: Donated to the GCSO by the United States military specifically for law enforcement use. These vehicles are utilized in many roles but specifically in the event of natural disasters (tornado) or extreme weather (snow / ice).
*Little known Fact: Federally seized drug money must be used for equipment and provides no ability for the long term, continued employment of Deputies.
3. Uniform Changes
Question: Why were the uniform colors changed?
Fact: Uniform shirts were changed from grey to black for the following reasons:
- There was no consistency in the color of the grey uniform shirts. Some looked very light grey, others were battleship grey and others were blue / grey. Uniformed Deputies are typically the first impression citizens have of the Sheriff's Office. Sheriff's Deputies must present a uniform image.
- Due to supply issues overseas, it was becoming very difficult to obtain the heather grey uniform shirts. The Sheriff's Office spoke with and looked at samples from several suppliers, none of which were consistent in color.
- Due to budget constraints the GCSO needed to have the shirts match the black uniform pants.
- Due to the above mentioned issues, the manufacturer also provided a cost that was greatly reduced thus making it possible to make these changes.
Myth: The Greene County Sheriff's Office wasted money on new badges.
Fact: Our old gold in color badges, were consistently being sent back to the manufacturer. Specifically due to the badges "peeling", losing their color and being scratched so easily. These badges were being re-finished at the cost of the GCSO. Our new badges came with a much longer (3 year) warranty at no cost to the GCSO. The GCSO was also assured the silver / chrome finish of the badges held up better to the normal wear and tear of law enforcement. This has been proven true in the last three years.
Myth: Sheriff Arnott started a SWAT team that was not needed.
Fact: Sheriff Arnott started a SWAT team at the Greene County Sheriff's Office for several specific reasons.
- With increasing violent crime in unincorporated Greene County it became evident that it was difficult at best and not safe to wait for another jurisdictional team to respond. This does not take into account the instances other teams were not available as they were being utilized within their own jurisdictions.
- The Greene County Sheriff's Office serves 84,000 citizens in unincorporated Greene County. The need for a team with the proper training and capable of responding to high risk entries, barricaded subjects, hostage situations and arrests of violent offenders has been shown many times over since the GCSO SWAT met the training requirements and became mission ready. In fact since becoming mission ready GCSO SWAT has made over 45 high risk entries and responded to three barricaded subjects. GCSO SWAT has also been utilized by other jurisdictions within Greene County.
- SWAT is an extra assignment at the GCSO. This is not a full time endeavor and no extra pay is given for this assignment. The average SWAT member has attained over 300 hours of specialized training specific to SWAT needs.
5. Tickets and Speed Enforcement
Myth: If the Sheriff's Office is so short staffed, why are Deputies regularly seen working highways?
Fact: The answer to this question is shown below
- The Greene County Sheriff's Office is short staffed. For details of the staffing shortages please watch the GCSO informative video on our website.
- Deputies often are seen on local highways for the following reasons
- Highways typically provide the quickest route from one portion of Greene County to another.
- Deputies consider themselves fortunate to have the ability to work paid overtime for projects such as speed enforcement and DWI enforcement. These grants, provided by MoDot are typically the only way Deputies can earn overtime pay. As part of these grants, MoDot REQUIRES the GCSO to work the highways in an effort to save lives.
- Sheriff's Deputies are mandated by State Law (RSMO 57.113) to patrol all State highways in the County.