Over the last weekend, the Sheriff's Auxiliary has been working very closely with the Mount Vernon Police Department to provide supplementary night-time patrols to help protect area businesses. More than half of our volunteers took time out of their weekend to deploy in the middle of the night and patrol or sit in unmarked vehicles in addition to the staff overhead of planning, coordinating, and equipping patrols (plus filing paperwork). We intend to continue working with the MVPD to supplement their manpower for night-time patrols for the forseeable future.
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.
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.