This last weekend (the 13th through 15th June), the Auxiliary completed an annual deployment exercise, testing its call-up system, check-in and staging, and then remaining in the field for 24 hours. During this time, we conducted nighttime cattle patrols and daylight reconnaissance covering over 200 square miles of Lawrence County.
The Sheriff's Auxiliary completed it's first round of patrols to protect against livestock theft in the early morning hours of 16 February. The 16th was a full moon, which is a hig-risk period for rustling. Volunteers, coordinating with County Dispatch, spent four hours covering approximately 100 square miles of northwest Lawrence County. The Livestock Patrol program allows the Sheriff's Office to more effectively use limited numbers of deputies in the late night and early morning.
This page describes services we provide to the community and how to request them. We operate under the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office, so in many cases if you request assistance from the Sheriff's Office (for help with event security, for instance), have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Sheriff's Office or a Mutual Aid Agreement, you will receive our services automatically through your existing agreements. In some cases, you may wish to request our services directly. We also provide some services or benefits to members of the Sheriff's Office or their families.
The question was asked several different ways at the recent Cattlemen's meeting on whether it is lawful to shoot cattle rustlers and was answered by the Barry County Prosecuting Attorney. According to one of our NCOs, this was also discussed at this weekend's CCW training course with Jason Lacey in Mount Vernon. This article will repeat the short answer under Missouri law, address some of the complex side questions, and try to tie in how Auxiliary volunteers fit into the mix.
There has been a lot of discussion locally about the increase in Missouri livestock theft, including recent community meetings hosted by the Cattlemen's Association. Fortunately, actual instances of thefts within Lawrence County are so far very low, but illegal activity in surrounding counties is legitimate cause for concern. Organized rustling ruins livelihoods. Insurance is expensive. The practice must be stopped.