- Associated Press - Friday, March 11, 2016

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) - A proposed Missouri House bill would simplify the process of sheriff’s deputies helping in another county.

The St. Joseph News-Press (https://bit.ly/24Vgs67 ) reports that the bill would allow a sheriff or deputy sheriff to assist each other’s departments even if they’re not in adjoining counties.

The current law allows sheriff and deputy sheriffs in next-door counties to help one another. Republican state Rep. Kenneth Wilson says there’s a need for help in many rural counties with low budgets.

“Crime knows no county line, township - crime goes everywhere,” Wilson said.

The new bill also says a sheriff or deputy sheriff helping another county would be considered an employee of the corresponding department and would receive benefits such as expense reimbursement, overtime and workers’ compensation.

“The sheriffs are in need of it,” Wilson said. “I’m happy that we are going to have a debate on this.”

Col. Bill Puett of the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department says this bill would make the process more efficient.

“When Joplin, Missouri, had their tornado and when they called for assistance we were able to send seven officers to assist,” Puett said. “However, they had to get some paperwork done prior to our officers responding. So this (bill) cleans it up and makes it quicker and easier.”

The House Select Committee on State and Local Governments voted to move the bill forward. It has yet to be scheduled on the House of Representatives calendar.


Information from: St. Joseph News-Press/St. Joe, Missouri, https://www.newspressnow.com

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