nteresting tidbit from a recent conversation with Scott Roy, the executive director of the Northland Regional Ambulance District (NRAD).
Roy says transports by the ambulance district were down by five percent in the year 2018. Transports are described as a run in which NRAD ends up taking a person to the hospital for treatment.
Roy said he was surprised by that falling number, especially given the growth in the district’s service area. “Our public education is working. People are being safe out there,” he said.
The Northland Regional Ambulance District Headquarters and Education Center are in Platte City at 1000 Platte Falls Road.
NRAD says it provides three Advanced Life Support Paramedic Ambulances 24 hours a day, 7 days a week “to provide the highest possible level of emergency medical care to everyone who lives or works within, or travels to or through our ambulance district.” The district’s ambulances are stationed in Platte City, Camden Point and Smithville. The Camden Point station is located just north of E Highway and Interurban Road. The Smithville station is on Richardson Road, just west of 169 Highway (south of the Smithville Post Office).
To summarize, Platte County’s number of felony crimes dropped by three percent in the past year and the number of local ambulance transports dropped by five percent in the same time period.
So don’t panic. Not all is doom-and-gloom in the world of local public safety.
The Chiefs are one win away from advancing to the Super Bowl. Can you believe it?
In Saturday’s divisional playoff win against the Colts, Kansas City’s defense looked like a different outfit than the one that has been overrun most of the season. The win catapulted KC into the AFC Championship game set for Sunday night at Arrowhead against the New England Patriots. It’s the most successful quarterback of all time (Tom Brady) vs. the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, the league’s phenom and presumed MVP. If the Chiefs win, consider it a proverbial passing of the torch, if you will.
Oh yeah, the forecast calls for temps hovering around single digits for Sunday night’s battle. Don’t offer to give me a free ticket, it wouldn’t matter. I’d rather be watching this one from the comfort of a warm couch.
You know the Chiefs are going to be able to score considerable points against the Patriots, they always do. The question will be which version of the Chiefs defense shows up, the version we saw most of the season or the version we saw against the Colts? If it’s the latter, we can all look forward to watching our local team in the Super Bowl on Feb. 3.
Exciting times for football fans in the region. We’ve waited a long time for this, Kansas City.
But hey, if you want someone to try to whiz on your Chiefs fandom, Hearne Christopher is here to take care of that. Check out Hearne’s comments in the Other Voices section on this page. Hearne probably played the role of Scrooge in Christmas plays as a kid. . .
One week away from a decision by the county commission on whether there will be a law enforcement tax and/or jail tax question on the ballot in April. Nothing firm to report as of yet but the opinion of many folks, based on reading of the tea leaves, is that the county will have some sort of ballot question(s) to announce next Tuesday. Stay tuned.
Had an email exchange one day last week with Bill Garnos, the consultant who performed the most recent jail study for Platte County.
Garnos said that his study included an extensive effort to verify and document the actual number of ICE detainees in the Platte County Jail, so that they could be excluded from the analysis of the county’s own inmate population trends and excluded from the development of his inmate population projections.
“The purpose of the jail population study is to provide an objective and independent assessment to provide transparency and documentation, and to provide a more data-driven means for determining the county’s future jail facility needs,” he wrote.
As noted here previously, the current jail was designed with a total of 154 beds. Major Erik Holland, in an August interview with The Landmark, said 26 additional beds were installed in 2014-15, which increased the capacity to 180. He said the department identified space in particular cells where the square footage was such that it allowed for “an additional bunk here, an additional bunk there.” Holland went on to say: “We identified space inside the current facility where we could add additional bunks and had the DOC (Missouri Department of Corrections) construct those bunks for us and we installed them.”
Based on Holland’s comments, it’s important to note those additional 26 are described as bunks, not the temporary “boat” type accommodations you sometimes hear referenced by county officials. As an example of the confusion and conflicting information that can come out of the mouths of the electeds, recently one county official described to me those 26 beds as temporary bunks. As you can see above, that’s not the way Holland explained it in August.
Holland said when the jail population goes over the 180 capacity, the department is able to place temporary bunks–those often described as “boats”–on the floor.“Our preference is not to have people in temporary bunks,” Holland said in that August interview.
Conveniently, or not conveniently depending upon your point of view, in latest talks and study calculations the stated capacity of the jail often is reverted back to 151 instead of 180. They say they do this “because when that jail was built it was originally designed for 151 beds.” They’re not wrong about that, it’s just that saying the current capacity is 151 is not exactly accurate. This is similar to school systems who tend to conveniently adjust to a reconfigured “capacity” of school buildings when they’re trying to make a case for new building projects.
Garnos says the current county jail, at 180 beds, is “maxed out” in all areas and has been operating at inmate levels well beyond that. (Current jail population as of Monday night was listed at 170 on the sheriff’s web site.)
“It may not be a good analogy but it’s like running a car continuously at its maximum speed. Parts wear out faster and the car simply won’t last as long,” Garnos said.
(Get more Between the Lines on Twitter @ivanfoley and at Platte County Landmark on Facebook)