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Historical perspective lends background to priorities for first week on the job

Saturday, January 12, 2013

By Sheriff Jason Mosher

Augustine Washington (1694 -- April 12, 1743) was the father of our first president, George Washington. What a lot of people do not know is that Gorge Washington's father was a sheriff in Virginia and took the oath as justice of the peace for the county court in July 1716. Although Augustine served as a sheriff under English law, the role was very similar to the role of an American sheriff. Daniel Boone, another famous American, also served as sheriff when he was elected in 1782 as sheriff of Fayette County. This American legend moved to Missouri, where he spent his final years until his death in 1820.

The first week as sheriff in Vernon County was very busy. Although most of my days were spent working on the 2013 budget, I did have a chance to meet many interesting people. Nevada Police Chief Graham Burnley invited me to lunch on Thursday with the Rotary Club. This was particularly noteworthy to me since my wife had received a scholarship from the Rotary Club when she graduated from Nevada High School to attend Crowder College.

I have also had the privilege to meet with the juvenile officers in Vernon County, the Vernon County Prosecutor, Lynn Ewing, and James McKenzie from the Vernon County Ambulance District.

As I started the budget process, I found that Vernon County Clerk Tammy Beach, as well as the Vernon County Commissioners were more than willing to help in any way they could and were very helpful with answering questions. I felt that each person I have met has a desire to serve the community of Vernon County, and it has been a pleasure to work with each of them.

As I started the budget process, I decided to first identify what I thought was the highest priority in carrying out my service to the people. This was not an easy task because there are so many areas that I would like to improve.

The first, however, was very simple, the safety of the people. The first goal I want to accomplish is having a deputy on patrol 24/7. This is a basic service that I think the citizens deserve, and includes the need to replace some patrol vehicles that are approaching the threshold of being "reliable" and making sure we will have the money allocated for fuel to keep them patrolling out in the rural areas of our county, as well as the cities.

The next area I focused on was security in the courthouse. Providing a full-time bailiff and courthouse security is also a concern for me. There are many different offices in the courthouse and I want to make sure that the public is safe at all times, not just on days when court is in session, but every day the doors are open. I look forward to instituting these changes and more.