There is a state Senate Committee hearing (General Laws) today for SB 613 (Second Amendment Protection Act or "SAPA") 2014 Regular Session. The Lawrence County Sheriff's Auxiliary submitted written testimony for the bill, primarily concerning the provisions creating the role of a School Protection Officer and its potential interaction with armed volunteers under law enforcement.
[Update 21 February 2014: This bill has passed the Missouri Senate 23-10.]
The Treasury Department has announced that hours of bona-fide volunteers and volunteer emergency responders (e.g., us) do not count toward an employer's count of full-time employees or full-time equivalent (FTE) hours. The Affordable Care Act (ACA, i.e. "ObamaCare") requires all employers with more than 50 FTE employees to provide health benefits or pay penalties.
A draft of an instruction manual for programming the Wouxun KG-UV6D dual-band radio from its keypad (field programming) is now available on Scribd and downloadable as a PDF. These radios are used by the Sheriff's Auxiliary and we have organized bulk purchases within the community.
Another video today for people to think about. This is a presentation by a man who created United Hatzalah in Israel: an organization of volunteers who put ambulances on motorcycles to decrease response time and provide support for critical patients while the full-size ambulance fights it's way through traffic. Over the years, his organization has grown to thousands of volunteers in several countries and has become a vehicle for knitting together Jews, Arabs, and Christians.
The Sheriff's Auxiliary picked up a Wouxun KG-UV920P Dual Band Mobile Radio for purposes of evaluation in its last bulk radio purchase. We were looking for a bare-bones dual-band mobile at a price that volunteers could readily afford. The 920P is programmable to a wide range of channels, allowing us to use a single unit for Amateur radio (2m/148Mhz and 770cm/440Mhz), Part 90 Public Service, and, in a pinch, GMRS and MURS. The unit also supports cross-band repeat and, with the aid of a second unit and a cable, full repeater functionality.
I have posted an article on Gun Debate detailing our recent trip to Reno Nevada for the International Association of Emergency Manager's Conference. The three-part travelogue describes changes in Nevada's CCW laws, how we dealt with them, issues with open-carry, the status of Auxiliary volunteers traveling to other states, self-defense law, the panel presentation I particpated in on active shooters in education environments, the school shooting in Sparks, Nevada and other issues.
This week the Sheriff's Auxiliary is scrambling to make last minute preparations for our Apple Butter Makin' Days deployment. Apple Butter Makin' Days is Lawrence County's largest annual festival, held in Mount Vernon with attendance of approximately 25,000 people. Although the festival is exciting and a big draw for the city, it places a huge burden on emergency planners which could not be met without the help of many volunteers. This year the LCSA is deploying under the Mount Vernon Police to assist in parade and night security patrols during the festival weekend, resulting in long hours on graveyard shifts.