Several sheriffs from across Missouri told state lawmakers about the issues facing their local departments and jails.
The financial burdens of Sheriff’s departments around the state are getting heavier.
Henry County Sheriff Kent Oberkrom currently heads the Missouri Sheriff’s Association. He says the number of county jail inmates is growing in Missouri, as is the cost of meals and medical care for those locked up.
“The system’s getting bogged down, so there’s more inmates kind of stagnant in the system, sitting in jails…and they’re sitting there for longer periods of time,” says Oberkrom.
Cape Girardeau County Sheriff John Jordan urged tougher requirements to run for sheriff. He said that the only current requirements for potential candidates are that they are “breathing,” and can pay the $50 filing fee.
He wants lawmakers to craft legislation that would require sheriff’s candidates to have prior law enforcement experience.
“You should at minimum, before filing, be a certified police officer who understands the constitution and the civil rights that you’re going to safeguard for the individuals you serve. And to do anything less is, to me, is just insanity,” says Jordan
The House Interim Committee on Operations of the Office of Sheriff is expected to recommend new bills before the start of next year’s regular session.