An Open Letter from Howell County Sheriff Brent Campbell

Greetings Howell County Citizens.
I just wanted to take some time and again say thank you for entrusting me with the coveted position of being your Sheriff.
As I reflect over 2020 how does one put into words the good, the bad, and the ugly. As I’ve stated in the past, we live in a great community, filled with people that come together in times of crisis, we are blessed with extraordinary leaders, we are a resilient and giving community.  
I pray 2021 brings us the ability to breathe and with it some much needed peace to so many that have voiced loss and struggles on several levels. My family and I have experienced several this last year.  But even through those tests and struggles we experienced many joys as well.
On a better note I would like to speak of one of those joys. I want to say how excited I am to continue the transformational changes internally and externally with the Office of Sheriff.  I would like to personally thank Retired Sheriff James M. Shannon and others before him on passing on the Office of Sheriff with a great foundation for building positive change. I’ve stated in the past change is inevitable; it’s creating positive change we must master.
I reflect back on a specific question ask of me during the campaign “what is something great at the sheriff’s office?” My reply? “The employees.” The people within that office making things happen.  Deputies, jailers, clerical, and dispatch are all there to serve the citizens of this county.  They operate and police in a climate nowadays which is formidable to say the least.  These professionals are undercompensated but still pay for uniforms, duty gear, weapons, tools to do their job out of their own pockets with their subpar wages.  They sacrifice holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and time with family to serve.  These individuals handle the dangers of the profession, the stressors of the job they perform, carry the hardships, the victimization we see, the destruction seen, and return the next day to serve the citizens of this county.  I not only look forward to serving the citizens, I look forward to serving those having chosen to follow the calling of this profession.
I look forward to creating a Sheriff’s Office that brings motivation, inspiration, opportunity, leadership, accountability, professionalism, and transparency. I hope I’m able to earn the citizens’ trust as well as
employees’ as we move toward my vision for this office together.
We are well on our way. We have already accomplished several things.
-The deputy supplemental salary funding Grant was secured.
-The COPS grant was obtained securing two additional commissioned deputies.
-Mobile data terminals or computers secured for deputies use in their issued patrol vehicles. Along with a new report management system that is both MIBRS and NIBRS compliant that is also web based to be used with the mobile data terminals.
-Some funding was allocated for uniforms for employees.
-We are still waiting on a response on a block grant application for several body-worn cameras.
-We have started decaling and marking the vehicle fleet to match.
-Started formulating the Howell County major case squad. A joint effort with the West Plains Police Department, Mountain View Police Department, and Willow Springs Police Department. More information to come about this special investigation unit.
-Launched the new Sheriff’s Office website (Google Howell County Sheriff’s Office, click on the website link) I asked citizens to go, view, and bookmark. It is a one-stop shop for a lot of useful information and I’m very proud of this site. A special thank you to active duty Army First Sergeant Jason McDaniel for his hard work and guidance. As you go through the page or open the page make note of the banner in blue labeled Sheriff’s Strategic Plan. This will provide an overview of things I would like to see completed within my first term.
-Updating the Facebook page which I also asked the citizens to go and like the page; this too will be another avenue of information sharing for the public.
-A K9 vehicle was donated and will be assigned to Deputy Matt Foster who allocated the vehicle and also owns a very well-trained narcotics detection canine he purchased out of his own pocket.  Matt and his canine partner Sagan will be able to respond to requests for service with this marked vehicle.
I plan to meet with each employee and go over their talent management packets I requested for them to complete, which included a new application with background investigation information and waiver, biographical
statement, survey, short-and-long term goals both personal and work-related.
Howell County citizens, I ask for patience as this transition takes place. I promise I will keep you informed of the happenings and also know you have a great group of people within the office that are here to serve.  I have a lot to complete in the first month to include security checks of the facility and courthouse, a long list of organization inspections, staff interviews, organizational structure, implementation of the systems, budget
and budget presentations, inventory, training, and review of current operations.
One thing I spoke of during my campaign was creating a Sheriff/citizens advisory board. I’m looking at possibly changing that up and implementing a Sheriff’s citizen academy, and build off the academy citizens as board members on a rotational bases.  I hope to have the structure and classes put together by summer and reach out to the community for interest in participating.  I look forward to the year ahead, and meeting more of those within this great area.

Howell County News

110 W. Main St.,
Willow Springs, MO 65793

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