Former Mississippi County Sheriff Passes

​Former Mississippi County Sheriff Larry Eugene Turley, 76, died Sept. 27, 2020, at Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Born Aug. 21, 1944, in Sikeston, Missouri, son of the late Louis E. “Blue” and Vida Mae Payne Turley, he graduated from Anniston High School in 1962. He worked at the East Prairie Eagle and moved to Elkart, Indiana. He worked for many years at Potlach in Sikeston. He later moved to Mulkeytown, Illinois, where he farmed and had a hog operation.

He returned to Missouri and graduated from the Missouri Law Enforcement Academy in 1978. He was a deputy sheriff under the former Sheriff Norris Grissom. He was elected sheriff of Mississippi County in 1992 and held the position until his retirement in 2004.

He received many awards during his tenure as sheriff, including one on Aug. 1, 1997, as national recognition from the federal government for his efforts in the war on drugs. The investigation resulted in arrests nationwide. The award was presented by the West Central Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force as a Meritorious Achievement Award for exemplary service in the successful investigation and prosecuting of Operation SPEED BUMP.

He was a member of Miner Baptist Church.

Pallbearers were current and former members of law enforcement: Mississippi County Sheriff Britton Ferrell, Honorable Judge Rob Barker; former reserve officer Rodney Clayton; former Sheriff Branden Caid; Trooper Lonnie Lejeune; and Trooper Dewey Heppe.  

Honorary pallbearers were current and former members of law enforcement: Retired Captain Mary Anne Clayton, Trooper Brenda Cone, Deputy Roy Moore, Deputy David Watkins, Deputy Mike Borders, Officer Wesley McDermott, Nicole Sinks, David McDermott, Don Chance, Debi Oliver, Officer Brenda Bickford, former reserve officers Charles Tinsley and Kevin Miller, Craig Karnes and retired SEMO Drug Task Force Director Kevin Glaser.

Online condolences may be shared at

Missouri Sheriffs United Endorses Mike Parson for Governor

Governor Mike Parson today announced the endorsement from the Missouri Sheriffs United in his campaign for governor.

“As a 22-year law enforcement veteran, and a former Polk County ​s​heriff, the governor understands the needs of law enforcement. While many want to ​’​defund the police​,’​ Governor Parson will protect those who are sworn to protect all of our citizens. Knowing that law enforcement officers risk their lives to defend our families and our neighborhoods, he will do everything he can to provide them with the tools they need to do their job,” Sheriff David Parrish, Missouri Sheriffs United ​p​resident, said. “That is why Missouri Sheriffs United has endorsed one of our own to continue to serve as ​g​overnor of the State of Missouri.”

For the first time in Missouri gubernatorial history, ​s​heriffs across the state are united in support of Gov​. ​Parson. This endorsement is a reflection of Gov​. Parson’s proven commitment to the protection of law abiding citizens in Missouri and dedication to the firm and fair enforcement of Missouri law.

“I will always stand by our law enforcement community as ​g​overnor,” Gov​.​ Parson said, “I am proud to announce this endorsement from the Missouri Sheriffs United, and I am humbled to have support from the law enforcement community across Missouri. Together, we will work to keep our communities safe for all Missourians.”

Gov​.​ Parson has a strong background in service to others, having spent 22​ ​years in law enforcement and serving two tours of duty in the United States Army as a​n​ MP.  After returning home, he joined the ​s​heriff’s office and eventually was elected by his community to serve as Polk County ​s​heriff.

“Our officers put their lives on the line every day for Missourians. I’ll always have their backs and stand up against radical calls to defund and abolish our police. Missouri ​s​heriffs work each day to hold those who violate the law accountable. We will not have safe communities without law and order, and Missouri ​s​heriffs work each day to safeguard our society from lawlessness,” Gov​.​ Parson said.

To view the full endorsement by Missouri Sheriffs United, click here.

By Cody Sanders | Ozark Radio News

The Hardest Budget to Come

As chiefs of police and sheriffs face what will probably be one of the most difficult years of budgeting, here are some thoughts. Many this year will have to make the decision between ‘wants’ and ‘needs.’ Yes, this was something taught to me as a child but often we forget when we see the new shiny widget. Some programs, outreaches or initiatives could be on the chopping block with monies diverted or lost.

One thing that I keep reminding the new chiefs and sheriffs of is that you are the chief executive officer (CEO) of an organization, you are not just the figurehead. You must run your department as a professional organization and not a frat house. This year with the impacts of Covid-19, on-going social unrest, and the possibility of the defunding some police missions, the hard decisions will be made this year. These upcoming decisions will have long-term implications. Be the leader and decide wisely.

Unfortunately, a lot of ​chiefs and sheriffs use “personality-based decisions” in purchasing. Every one of us has our personal likes and dislikes. We have our brand preferences, our favorite company or our favorite contractors.  Often, we make our purchasing choices with these personality-based influences rather than hard data. Now with the budgets tighter than ever imagined, one must perform due diligence for nearly all budget-based decisions. Going back to our favorite product brand, you must now decide is a name recognition worth the price? Is there something comparable and more economical and here goes the dilemma?

Another area to revisit is our existing contracts. Every organization has vehicle maintenance, dry cleaning, building maintenance, and other support services contracts. These line items are often in the budget often without review. All too often departments have always used a particular company just because this was the way it has always been. Granted, sometimes it was a political decision made for you by elected officials. ​Reality is that politicians have to ​”​spread the wealth​”​ to their supporters, whether you like it or not. 

In a perfect world, all want to see the local vendor, or the local smaller business get these lucrative contracts. This only makes sense to keep local tax money within the local tax base. When reviewing existing contracts and requesting competitive bids, you will ruffle the feathers of most businesses, but it has got to be accomplished. Be honest with them, state that you are performing due diligence, after all you have to be the guardian of taxpayers’ money. The main point here is that you must ensure the process is the best for all concerned. You can defend your selections, while trying to preserve your funding.


I strongly suggest you create a spreadsheet of upcoming renewals and review them. Memberships to professional organizations will be scrutinized, as well as renewal of service contracts for technology, projected replacement of outdated technology, fleet management and all maintenance and replacement costs. Elected officials may not ​understand proper law enforcement practices. I have heard in public meetings, “I still hunt with my granddaddy’s shotgun, why do you need new shotguns​?​” and “Why do you need expensive uniforms, why can’t you get the rental uniforms like the public works employees wear​?”​ Yes, there are more foolhardy statements that I have had to field in the past. Tip – be prepared for anything this year. “Needful things” has to be on the defense spreadsheet, review the expendables you have gone through for COVID and recent unrest, you have to keep your quartermaster stocked for bad days.


In this current climate I feel we will see those able to retire submitting their papers. Some who are fed up may vest or withdraw their retirements, invest in a private retirement fund and walk out. The personnel shortages will be another war cry of do more with less. Granted salaries and related personnel costs make up the biggest slice of your budget pie. Politicians will view this as a means of closing the budget gap. Be ready to guard your staffing and operational requirements. Recruiting will probably be more difficult than ever; I foresee department jumping. Better benefits, better working/living conditions will attract officers who can leave without retirement impacts. Care for your staff, they are your most important resource.

Training Solutions

One thing which is particularly disturbing will be the attack upon the training budget. This is often the most vulnerable for most political leadership cannot see this as a tangible item. All they can see is police officers not working on the street, getting paid to sit in a classroom. As training budgets get tighter, you must begin to seek other non-traditional sources for training. Many insurance trusts who service governmental organizations offer some free training. Since the department is underneath their insurability umbrella, ask for their training offers or grants.  Research government​-​supported training where all you have to do is host the training. Now, never say it is ​”​free training​”​ for there is no such thing as free training – you have to have overtime for backfill​ and​ there may be some expendables (classroom supplies or hall rental). The goal is to seek partnerships you can build to establish free training.

Training conferences may be viewed with skepticism for the fees, travel and per diem adds up quickly. My best suggestion is inquiring if attendees present a topic or assist in some way with the conference operations, could they receive complimentary attendance or some perks to lessen the costs.

Most state POST councils are now approving virtual or on-line training options which helps with the scheduling and gives you more latitude on meeting state requirements. To me there is no ‘minimum training’ but seek quality, suitable training to meet the demands that your officers are facing.

Nuances of 2020

The first reality is that most municipalities or counties will be facing budgetary shortfalls this year and probably until there is a full economic recovery. Most all are facing reductions in employment taxes (people not working), sales taxes (shops closed or going out of business) and if they offer utilities services (water/sewer for example) many customers cannot pay or legislation preventing cut-offs for non-payments inhibiting this income. Some of their own sacred line items may also face cuts – donations to the arts, recreation and other public donations/support to non-profits. What will convolute the next few months is that most budget processes should have been completed, but due to no public meetings or face to face meetings all are behind schedule. Chiefs​ and sheriffs​ need to schedule telephone or email time to answer and defend questions to the budget staff and elected officials.

New demands

If your agency does not have body cameras and other recording systems (vehicle and station), expect to be purchasing them. In the quest of transparency, it is going to force your hand.

New training demands will come about. ​There will be m​ore mandated training with no financial assistance. Whether it be bias training, use of force, de-escalation, or whatever; you will need to insert this in the budget. Problem is the ​f​ederal ​government ​or ​the s​tate will manda​​te this midstream of next fiscal year without warning, so you will have sticker shock.​

In closing, with the ‘defund the police’ movement some missions may be reassigned to another agency. Mental health calls have been discussed in the past. Have the data of the number of mental health calls from the past and calculate the percentage they were from calls for service.  We have been through something like this in the past. It created social experiments in the 1980s and other times where draconian backlashes have occurred for political changes and motives. We will get through this, but it will be hard, tedious work. If a chief or sheriff expects this year or next year for that matter to be a budget process as usual, you are sadly mistaken. You will earn your salary on this one. Good luck and keep up the good work.

By William L. Harvey |
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon

Opinion: Why Aren’t Sheriffs’ Races Nonpartisan?

Buchanan County voters cast 14,548 ballots in Tuesday night’s election that helped determine contests ranging from county sheriff to the expansion of Medicaid in Missouri.

Note the extra emphasis on helping to determine, because most of these races were either statewide contests or a precursor to the general election. The exception, in Buchanan County, was the race for sheriff. This contest featured two closely matched Republicans, while the lack of a Democratic candidate meant that the winner gets the job for the next four years.

In the end, more than half of the participants in Tuesday’s election, or 9,575, voted for one candidate or another for sheriff, about double the amount that voted on the Democratic ballots. This county has swung Republican since the George W. Bush presidency, but the GOP turnout implies that at least some Democrats likely asked for a Republican ballot in order to have a voice in the most intriguing local race.

It shouldn’t have to be that way. In the news business, we’ve met our fair share of sheriffs, along with prosecutors and assessors, and found very little difference between a Republican one and a Democratic one. Unlike an elected position with a broad lawmaking or rule-making mandate, like state representatives or county commissioners, a sheriff or prosecutor is more or less a technocratic role that requires a high level of expertise and experience.

So why not make Missouri sheriff, prosecutor and perhaps assessor into nonpartisan jobs, sort of like the City Council in St. Joseph, where candidates don’t run on a party ballot? There are a few states — California, Louisiana, Minnesota, Oregon and Tennessee — that make a sheriff a nonpartisan position.

It isn’t a stretch to suggest that sheriffs in those states are no less professional and dedicated than those in Missouri. In reality, a party designation means very little for the officeholder. In fact, 20 years ago, Bill Puett and Keith Dudley would have been tempted to run as Democrats, because that was the party that ruled the courthouse and got you on the most ballots.

In the end, party-affiliated primaries aren’t a problem for the candidates as much as for the voters, because it can limit the ability of who gets to decide. Sure, voters can ask for the other party’s ballot, but that shouldn’t be necessary.

Most likely, these offices are party-affiliated for reasons of history, inertia and the tendency of party hierarchies to become a special interest in and of themselves. It also has something to do with money. In judicial races, there is evidence that nonpartisan races do not attract as much outside money for campaign purposes.

Tuesday’s election demonstrates that a new way of thinking might be needed.

News-Press Now

NECAC, Sheriff’s Office Teams Up to Build Tiny Homes

Pictured from left to right: Lincoln County Economic Development representative Elaine Henderson, Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer’s Deputy Chief of Staff Jeremy Ketterer, Senator Roy Blunt’s field representative Jennifer Meyer, Sheriff John Cottle, Senator Josh Hawley’s Field Representative Ben Gruender and NECAC Deputy Director of Housing Development Carla Potts.

Last week, Donald Patrick the President and CEO of the North East Community Action Corporation (NECAC) along with Carla Potts the NECAC Deputy Director for Housing Development kicked off their newest partnership with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office…the future construction of tiny homes.

Part of Sheriff Cottle’s Workforce Reentry program for inmates and Lincoln County residents, this joint venture is also aligned with the Saint Louis Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship Program to provide the skills necessary for meaningful employment.

Members from Senators Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley and Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer’s Office were in attendance to provide their continued support to see the workforce initiative grow. Elaine Henderson with the Lincoln County Economic Development team was also in attendance and spoke on the importance of education and workforce reentry for inmates and all Lincoln County citizens.

“We have been arresting people and putting them in jail for 200 years,” said Sheriff Cottle. “Then in a few weeks or months we arrest them again and the cycle continues with no hope of any future or change. This program will help inmates find meaningful employment and move toward a better life.”

Sheriff Cottle, local businessmen and women, the Governor of Missouri, along with members of Congress believe this program will improve the life of every Lincoln County citizen who wishes to enter into the program. The Workforce Reentry Program is expected to reduce recidivism by 30​ percent​.

​Lincoln News Now​

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Completes Accreditation Process

Today, Sheriff John Cottle announced the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office has completed the CALEA Accreditation process. The purpose of CALEA’s Accreditation Program is to improve the delivery of public safety services, primarily by maintaining a body of standards, developed by public safety practitioners, long-term planning, fiscal management, covering a wide range of up-to-date public safety initiatives; establishing and administering an accreditation process; and recognizing professional excellence.

The body of standards was developed using source materials voluntarily submitted by preexisting state programs and by many state and local law enforcement agencies nationwide. Those standards were based on case law, state statutes, administrative mandates, model policies and professional management materials. The program is the standard-bearer for modern law enforcement.

“I would like to thank the men and women of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office in obtaining such a high standard of professionalism,” said Sheriff Cottle. “This is not an easy accreditation to achieve and it takes months to earn. If it were easy, everyone would do it.”

Sheriff Cottle earned Lincoln County’s first accreditation in 2008.

Benefits of Accreditation

-Improves officer and public safety
-Addresses high risk management issues
-Promotes operational efficiency through policy development
-Provides a norm for the agency to judge its performance
-Provides a basis to correct deficiencies before they become public problems
-Requires agencies to commit policies and procedures to writing
-Promotes accountability
-Verifies compliance
-Provides a means of independent evaluation of agency operations
-Minimizes an agency’s exposure to liability
-Potentially reduces liability insurance costs
-Enhances the reputation of the agency, thereby attracting the best qualified candidates for employment
-Increases public confidence

Sheriff to be Commemorated With Apparel Fundraiser

​’​Hold the Line’ campaign to feature special apparel in honor of Sheriff Andy Clark of DeKalb County.

A sheriff killed in a crash in DeKalb County, Missouri this week will be remembered with a charitable fundraiser for his family.

Shield Republic Charities will run a “Hold the Line” apparel campaign to raise funds for Sheriff Andy Clark of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, who died in a car accident while responding to a call the morning of Wednesday, June 3. The fundraiser will include commemorative t-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, hoodies, ladies’ tank tops and decals made in America. All net proceeds from the campaign will be donated to the Clark family.

Sheriff Clark died while on duty after being called to assist a deputy near Highways 36 and MO 33 near Osborn, Missouri. En route to helping his colleague, his car collided with an SUV, fatally wounding the sheriff and injuring four people in the SUV.

The cause of the crash is currently being investigated; witnesses said Sheriff Clark’s vehicle had its hazard lights on as he crashed.

“Today we share in the heartbreak of the Clark family along with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office team,” said Charlie Romero, spokesperson for Shield Republic. “Our Hold the Line campaign in Sheriff Clark’s honor recognizes the sacrifice of a committed officer who laid down his life in the line of duty. We commend him for his service.”

View the Hold the Line fundraiser page for Sheriff Clark  at

Shield Republic’s Hold the Line fundraisers have donated more than $200,000 this year to the families and units of fallen first responders, police officers and K9 police dogs.

For more information about the Shield Republic Charities, email

About Shield Republic

Established in 2016, Shield Republic is an American lifestyle brand based outside Raleigh, North Carolina. The company offers creative, fresh apparel and merchandise embody​​ing American pride. Everything sold by Shield Republic is designed and manufactured in the United States. Shield Republic appeals to patriotic Americans p​​assionate about personal strength, second amendment rights and military strength. Through Shield Republic Charities, the company shows appreciation to soldiers, first responders and their families.

Learn more about Shield Republic and shop the online store at  Read the Shield Republic lifestyle blog at Follow Shield Republic on Facebook (@ShieldRepublicCo), Instagram (@shield_republic), Twitter (@shieldrepublic) and Pinterest (@shield_republic).

Flags to Fly Half-Staff in Honor of DeKalb County Sheriff Andy Clark

Today, Governor Mike Parson ordered U.S. and Missouri flags be flown at half-staff at government buildings in DeKalb County on Wednesday, June 10, 2020, in honor of DeKalb County Sheriff Andy Clark.

On June 3, Sheriff Clark was killed in a​​ motor vehicle crash while carrying out his duties and responding to assist a deputy on an emergency call.

“Sheriff Clark devoted more than 23 years of his life as a law enforcement officer committed to protecting his fellow citizens and making his community stronger,” Governor Parson said. “He served Missouri with heart and grit, and his final act of public service was responding to assist one of his deputy sheriffs at an emergency scene. Sheriff Clark’s career is an example of public service of the highest order.”

The flags will be held at half-staff on the day Sheriff Clark is laid to rest. To view the proclamation, click here.

DeKalb County Sheriff Dies in Duty-Related Car Crash

At approximately 11:20 a.m. this morning, while responding to assist one of his deputies, DeKalb County Sheriff Andy Clark was involved in a vehicle crash. Sheriff Clark died as a result of injuries he sustained.

Sheriff Clark took office on September 1, 2016. He is the first Missouri sheriff to die in the line-of-duty since 1994. Maries County Sheriff Roy Bassett was shot and killed while assisting a Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper investigate a minor traffic accident. Sheriff Clark was on his way to help his deputy who was trying to catch a man accused of fleeing after stealing a package of beer.

The Missouri Law Enforcement Funeral Assistance Team, Supporting Heroes, and the Missouri Sheriffs’ Association Fallen Star Benevolent Fund representatives, as well as representatives from many sheriffs’ offices across Missouri are providing support.

We pray for the family, friends, and loved ones. Sheriff Clark leaves behind a wife and four young children.

Kevin Merritt
Executive Director
Missouri Sheriffs’ Association