A glance back while stepping forward


As 2015 draws to a close and 2016 comes upon us your Carter County Sheriff’s Office continues to work towards providing you with superior law enforcement services. Many exciting and progressive things have occurred this past year, within your Carter County Sheriff’s Office. As we continue working diligently to ensure your safety and security are maintained, I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation for allowing me the opportunity to serve you and your families. 

Over the past several months many disturbing trends have been observable throughout not only our community but also our state and nation. The unrelenting scam notifications and threats of terrorism have left our citizens concerned and seemingly frustrated.  I would like to take a few moments over the next few months to address many of these disturbing trends in hopes that it will keep our community safe and secure as well as lesson the stress, felt by our citizens.


As it pertains to the multitude of scams making their way through our telephones, mailboxes, and social media web sites I would ask you to not only use good common sense but also NEVER provide your personal or banking identification to any entity you are not certain about. I have often advised citizens to ask themselves two primary questions as they are attempting to ensure the validity of any potential scam claim: first,  “is this too good to be true” and secondly, how and why are they calling me out of the blue?

Many times if we ask ourselves the aforementioned questions we can easily find that the activity is not necessarily above the board and hence I should avoid the communication. These organizations and people performing the scams are many times carrying out their business in areas outside the United States making it nearly impossible for Law Enforcement to assist you with successfully retrieving your lost funds. Additionally, they many times have a great deal of your personal information so don’t be taken off guard if they recite information including names and locations of you or your family members.

The people carrying out the scam are many times very convincing and will routinely  threaten arrest warrants, physical harm, and hardship if you do not comply. Again, NEVER provide them with your personal information. You can feel welcome to calmly advise them that you do not feel comfortable speaking any longer and direct them to contact me, your local sheriff, at his office.


As described earlier, in this article, 2015 was a busy, event filled year for your Carter County Sheriff’s Office.  Your Sheriffs Dispatch / Communications center received a total of 25,725 calls for service and information throughout the duration of the year. The total number of calls equates to a monthly average of 2143.75 calls and a weekly average of 494.71.  The communication center received and dispatched over 9,965 municipal calls for the cities of Van Buren (5961), Ellsinore (3043), and Grandin (961) during that same time period.

The year was busy for the Carter County Jail as well. The jail received a total of 430 detainees throughout the year, with over 8120.52 meals served.  The average length of stay for the detainees was eight (8) days. A departmental break down of first time inmates received at the facility revealed; The Carter County Sheriff’s Office booked in 202 detainees, Missouri State Highway Patrol 78, Van Buren Police 47, Ellsinore Police 15, and Other agencies 21.

The Carter County Sheriff’s Office, Patrol and Investigative Divisions instigated 478 new criminal / civil case investigations throughout 2015. A breakdown of the case investigations revealed that there were 71 cases opened relating to Burglaries and Stealing, 15 Assault, 30 Domestic Violence, 83 traffic related and accidents, 3 child abuse, 42 agency assists, 25 sexual offenses, 35 warrant arrests, 7 Trespass, 7 Animal, 8 Deaths, 6 Weapons Offenses, 5 tampering, 6 Arsons, 10 Civil, and 90 cases which fell under other types of incidents.  One exciting aspect of our criminal investigations this year included the investigation and filing of charges in two (2) separate “cold case” investigations. The perseverance of Sheriff’s Office staff members provided much need closure to child victims of crime from past criminal activity.    

The Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division instigated 35 documented drug investigations which included the recovery of over 40.434 ounces of Marijuana, 39.7 Grams of Methamphetamines, 9 grams of Opium, and 284.5 units of other narcotic drugs. The Carter County Sheriff’s Office worked in a collaborative effort with two (2) state level drug tasks forces, Federal drug agencies and local drug task forces throughout the year to combat the drug problem within our jurisdiction and surrounding counties. The Sheriff’s Office took over 49 separate people into their custody for a multitude of drug related crimes, forwarding the cases to the Carter County Prosecuting Attorney for filing of charges. 

 The Carter County Sheriff’s Office sponsored and staff was involved with over 27 training events where staff and community members partook in educational events designed towards enhancing their abilities and opportunities to perform their duties and keep our community safe and secure. During the year 2015, the Carter County Sheriff’s office attended over 87 community events, averaging 7.25 events per month. This attendance was vital in enhancing the organizations ability to interact with our community to further our goal of community centered, service driven policing. 

As your Sheriff, I couldn’t be prouder of the team we have assembled to serve you. Although far from perfect, the men and women we employ are centered around a foundation of true service and doing the right thing regardless of the circumstance. Each member of the Sheriff’s Office understands fully the nobility of their mission and the impact they have on the lives of their co-workers and community. I am honored to serve alongside each of them.

2016 will be another exciting and productive year for our organization and county.  Our primary goal this year will be to continue enhancing our ability to combat crime and curb the drug epidemic within our county. I feel we need to continue doing better in this area to ensure all alternatives as well as accountability for offenders is encompassed. Your continued assistance in this endeavor is appreciated.

It is my hope that 2016 will be a year when we all more often extend a helping hand to our neighbors, coworkers, family, friends and strangers in need.


Sheriff Richard J. Stephens

Crime Tip HOTline 573-323-4510