LEBANON, Missouri- Serious crime in Laclede County declined nearly 8% in 2017 compared to 2016 according to the Missouri Uniform Crime Reporting Program. Part 1 crimes, which include homicide, manslaughter, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft and arson decreased 7.65%. These numbers are only for crime reported to the Laclede County Sheriff’s Office and do not include the crime reported in the City of Lebanon, Laclede County Sheriff Millsap said.
The Sheriff says much of the decline was driven by a drop in violent crime which decreased 42% over the year. “Much of the violent crime we deal with is driven by domestic violence. We made a concentrated effort, since the first of the year, to conduct better investigations, and to get victims of domestic violence assistance to stop the violence and we did a better job partnering with COPE domestic violence shelter and their advocates to get victims the assistance they need,” said Sheriff David Millsap.
Overall property crime in the County decreased by nearly 2%. Stealing incidents dropped 5.33% and motor vehicles theft decreased. In 2016 the County reported 84 burglaries and in 2017 that number rose to 94. “I believe with the number of neighborhood watch programs we have started, and we hope to develop more, will lead to a bigger decline in property crimes,” Millsap said. The Sheriff added that property crimes can be significantly impacted, not only with neighborhood watch, but citizens locking doors of their homes, sheds and garages. “Most people feel safe in Laclede County and that tends to lead to a false sense of security, that we can leave doors unlocked, especially out buildings that thieves often target.” In the past year the Sheriff’s Office has worked with citizens to develop community watch programs in Eldridge, Sleeper, BB/H Highway area, Phillipsburg, and Sassafras Road. The Office continued to work with an existing community watch program in the Nebo/Falcon area meeting with that group once a month.
The Laclede County Detention Center booked 2,319 inmates during the year an increase of 4.37% from 2016. The Center’s average daily population was 134 inmates in 2017. The Center’s actual capacity is 122. “We had over 160 inmates on September 9 which is the most ever housed, at one time, in the facility. We had two months when the average population was 150. That number puts a real strain on the budget and the staff,” Millsap said, “but in the end the staff worked through the issues and we stayed on budget. I am proud of their work.”
A total of 460 inmates were transported by the Sheriff’s Office to the Department of Corrections an increase of 11.38% from 2016. “Working with the Prosecutor, and the Judges, a lot of people who needed to go to prison went to prison,” the Sheriff said. Millsap added that citizens would be surprised at the number of transports we do in a year, picking up inmates in other counties who have Laclede County warrants, transporting inmates to DOC, and picking inmates up at prison and bringing them back here on other cases and transporting arrestees and inmates to mental health facilities. “Last year we completed 956 transports, an increase of nearly 21%, to say the least we kept the road hot picking up and delivering people to various facilities throughout the state.”
Deputies were busy answering calls in 2017. Last year Laclede County 911-Communications dispatched deputies to 12, 217 calls, in addition to 555 calls dispatched to the Conway Police Department. Deputies wrote 1, 767 preliminary offense reports during the year. Laclede County 911-Communications received 17,065 emergency calls in 2017. “A lot of citizens don’t realize all 911 calls, whether the call originates in City of Lebanon, or in the county, comes to our communication center before being routed to the appropriate agency,” Millsap said. Laclede County 911-Communications dispatches all fire department calls, even for the city of Lebanon. In 2017 Laclede County 911-Communications dispatched 4,546 fire calls. City of Lebanon makes up half of those calls, the remaining fire calls are dispatched to rural fire departments in the county. Lebanon Rural Fire Department makes up about 23% of the fire calls dispatched by 911-Communications.
Laclede County 911-Comunications received a 98% compliance rating from the Missouri Highway Patrol, during a recent audit, regarding their Missouri Uniform Law Enforcement System and National Crime Information Center entries. This was the highest rating the Communications Center has ever received.
“I feel good about the first year in office. We increased training in the jail, 911-Communications and in patrol. The staff accepted the challenge to get better and to provide better service, and getting involved in the community. We still have a lot of room to get better, but overall I am really proud of the deputies, dispatchers, detention workers and support staff that worked hard everyday for the citizens,” Millsap said.