From the Desk of Sheriff Anderson

On June 9th, 2022, I along with other law enforcement Chiefs from Bates County, Members of the Bates County Memorial Hospital held a meeting with all the area Superintendents and School Board Members in reference to identify the needs of each school in regards to school safety and response to active threats at the schools. The meeting was very productive and multiple areas were identified and agreed upon to work together to achieve safe schools.

Since the meetings I have met with and listened to many people voice their concerns about school safety. After listening to the school professionals and members of the community, we are now in the process of hiring two full time School Resource Deputies. The Bates County Sheriff’s Office is directly responsible for 5 school that are in rural Bates County. The following schools are not located within a municipality that has law enforcement and would be served by these deputies; Miami School, Hume School, Zion Lutheran School, Hudson School and Ballard School. These two officers will rotate time between the schools to provide the best coverage we can in the times we are in. While the ultimate goal would be to put a deputy in every school the cost is prohibitive at this point but is a goal that we pledge to work toward.

The remaining 2022 budget for the Sheriff’s Office is stable and can support the addition of the two deputies and necessary equipment to help secure our schools and our most valuable assets, our children. The Sheriff’s Office has worked for the last 13 years to build a substantial financial reserve and if needed would request utilization of those funds in the 2023 Budget year to continue to secure our schools.

These positions will be filled as soon as possible and may not be filled prior to the start of school year. Law enforcement is experiencing a highly competitive market with many agencies giving substantial raises and benefit packages surpassing our own salaries and benefits. That along with the current political climate of law enforcement attracting young qualified applicants is more difficult than ever.