On May 31, 2013, Lincoln County Sheriff John Cottle, made available its Fiscal Year 2013 JAG Application to the County Commissioners and community for comment.
The Sheriff solicited four new 2014 Ford Utility Police Interceptors to include light bars, partitions, gun racks and other equipment necessary for day to day law enforcement. The solicitation will help to replace three (3) 2004 Chevy Impalas and one (1) 1998 Ford Crown Victoria, which have a total of 565,000 miles.
The Sheriff’s Office has not purchased or leased a vehicle since 2009, when their budget was reduced from $5.4 to $3.6 million. “Most of our vehicles are in excess of 110,000 miles and at that point it becomes a safety issue. In addition, the rising cost of maintenance for each vehicle over 100,000 miles significantly impacts our budget,” said Sheriff Cottle.
The program is open to the public for comment through the Sheriff’s Office website. Anyone wishing to read the program narrative below outlines the solicitation.
If you have any questions are comments regarding the solicitation please contact Captain Mike Huffman at 636-528-8546.
The Edward Byrne Memorial JAG Program’s deadline is July 9, 2013, and the Sheriff will receive comments through June 30, 2013.
Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program FY 2013 Local Solicitation
Funding Opportunity Number: BJA-2013-3599; CFDA #16.738
Name: Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Lincoln County, Missouri
Contact: Lieutenant Andy Binder, 636-352-2279
Title of Project: Vehicles – Police Cruisers (SUV)
To purchase four (4) emergency patrol vehicles to better respond to crises in any given situation to include flooding, routine patrol duties, tornadoes and missing persons. Lincoln County is second fastest growing county in the State of Missouri and yet, mostly agricultural making the flow of resources to remote areas difficult. The purchase of a four (4) 2014 Ford Utility Police Interceptors (SUV) will assist the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office in providing emergency services to remote areas of the county and upon request from surrounding counties and by local emergency managers. The National Response Framework presents several guiding principles that enable all response partners to prepare and respond to disasters and emergencies as well as having defined roles and resources. In May 2013, the Mississippi River flooding engulfed more than 28,000 acres along eastern Lincoln County and caught the attention of the international media. The Sheriff’s Office emergency equipment was barely adequate for the security functions it served. In addition, the Sheriff’s Office often has to rely on civilian volunteer resources and search posses to travel in and out of remote areas, if available.
The basic premise of the National Response Plan is that incidents are generally handled at the lowest jurisdictional level possible without the direct assistance of the Department of Homeland Security. The Sheriff’s Office is not without assistance in the event of a massive incident such as, the Mississippi River flooding in May of this year. The Sheriff’s Office uses several strategies to help integrate emergency services within the department. First, the Office has established monthly meetings for all county Chiefs of Police to discuss problems, concerns and planning. Here, ideas are presented and disseminated within law enforcement circles to better improve services. Second, the Sheriff’s Office participates in monthly emergency management meetings through the Lincoln County Economic Development, Emergency and Floodplain Management Office. These meetings consist of local area fire departments, ambulance districts, department of health and welfare and county commissioners. Information is disseminated through these channels through mutual aid agreements to ensure proper respond to emergency situations.
Lincoln County Emergency Management is responsible for coordinating local resources to address the full spectrum of actions to prevent, prepare, respond, and recovery from incidents involving all-hazards and the use of SUVs will assist in our response. The Sheriff’s Office plays an integral role in emergency management under the NIMS guideline providing public information and logistics support. Under those guidelines, the Sheriff’s Office coordinates plans and objectives regarding the use of emergency resources.
Project Identifiers: Equipment - General, Vehicles – Police Cruisers (SUV), Policing, Officer Safety, Community Policing
Lincoln County was founded on December 14, 1818, and is one of 114 counties in the state of Missouri. Lincoln County has approximately 630 square miles of land, 10 square miles of water and three large cities including Troy, Winfield and Elsberry. We are bordered by Pike County to the north, St. Charles County to the southeast, Warren County to the southwest, Montgomery County to the west and our eastern border is the Mississippi River. Lincoln County is part of the St. Louis Metro area.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office had its budget reduced every year since 2009 totaling approximately $1.8 million dollars, which is a reduction of 34%. In 2009, the Sheriff’s budget was $5.4 million and reduced to $3.6 million in 2012. In 2009, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office employees took a 5% reduction in pay and as a result lost 15 sworn deputies to higher paying agencies. To date, the 5% reduction remains effective and employees have not seen a cost of living adjustment since 2008. The Sheriff, because of budgetary restraints since 2009, reduced the number of full-time positions from 111 to 98. In addition, as the result of the 34% reduction in budget, the Sheriff was stressed with the task of employee layoffs, which have not been recovered.
The Sheriff’s Office currently employs a total of 98 employees including uniform deputies, jailers and civilians. In 2012, uniform deputies responded to approximately 30,000 calls for service throughout incorporated and unincorporated Lincoln County. The Patrol Division consists of four squads of five (5) deputies. In addition, the Sheriff’s Office currently has 21 patrol vehicles, which includes eight (8) patrol spares (patrol spares are defined as any patrol vehicle year 2005 and older and because of their unreliability are used as temporary replacement in the event a primary vehicle requires maintenance).
In year 2008, the Sheriff’s Office leased four 2009 Chevy Impala police cruisers. With the yearly decreases in budget, the funds for replenishing aging vehicles within the fleet is not attainable. Our goal is to request JAG funds to buy and equip four (4) new 2014 Ford Utility Police Interceptors to replace three (3) 2004 Chevy Impalas and one (1) 1998 Ford Crown Victoria, which have a total of 565,000 miles. These vehicles will improve our response ability and decrease the cost of our vehicle maintenance budget by 12%. The Sheriff’s total maintenance cost in 2012 to repair fleet vehicles was $70,000. This maintenance includes oil changes, tires and other mandatory scheduled maintenance. Also, included is unscheduled maintenance from breakdowns and vehicle wear and tear.
Unincorporated Lincoln County contains more than 60% dirt roads with several roads incorporating some stream beds as part of the road. During periods of heavy rain many roads are deemed in-passable making it extremely difficult for deputies and emergency responders to get into populated areas with a Chevy Impala. During the winter months, dirt roads are not plowed adequately after storms leaving them snow packed and iced for several weeks to even months. The Sheriff’s Office purchased two used Army HUMVEEs in 2008 to help combat mobility problems; however, the vehicles are unreliable and can only be used during times of catastrophe or tactical situations. In the first week of May 2013, Lincoln County received a snow storm that dumped 15 inches of snow making roads impassable. The HUMVEEs were used to reach citizens during this storm and only lasted two-hours before mechanical failure occurred rendering them useless. Extensive maintenance makes HUMVEEs less than adequate for patrol functions during emergencies and costly to maintain. Lastly, the HUMVEEs are camouflaged giving the Sheriff’s Office a militaristic appearance, which is not ideal for our community policing efforts.
The Sheriff’s Office is requesting funding to purchase four (4) 2014 Ford Utility Police Interceptors (SUV) to help with mobility and officer safety when responding to calls for service. These vehicles will operate in the following capacities: uniform patrol (primary), missing persons, community and county parades, narcotics enforcement, safety fairs, and the annual county fair. The SUV patrol cruisers will help the Sheriff’s Office rotate out maintenance intensive and poor performing cruisers.
Also, the Sheriff’s Office allocates several full-time deputies to the Lincoln County Narcotics Enforcement Unit who provides assistance to agencies not equipped to investigate or dismantle clandestine methamphetamine laboratories. Investigators working for the narcotics unit will perform sampling and clean up in and around the unit’s operational area. Because of the rural nature of unincorporated Lincoln County gaining access to these areas is extremely difficult without an all-wheel or 4x4 drive. The four 2014 Ford Utility Police Interceptors (SUV) are all-wheel drive and will provide narcotics investigators the operational functionality to reach the most remote areas of the county. Furthermore, the SUV’s contain enough trunk space to carry adequate emergency equipment and first-aid supplies.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office annual budget is derived from the Lincoln County Commissioners Office. The Commissioners Office administers funding to the Sheriff’s Office and other county agencies through the Treasury Office. The Treasury Office is responsible for receiving and administering funding, including grant awards, through their office to the Sheriff.