Phelps County Sheriff Rick Lisenby addressed the county commissioners last week with some updates concerning a shooting range and courthouse security. Also, Starlyn Reynolds and Jade Chapman with Phelps County Regional Center stopped by to introduce the Phelps County Commissioners to a possible county-wide wellness program.

Phelps County Sheriff Rick Lisenby addressed the county commissioners last week with some updates concerning a shooting range and courthouse security.

Law enforcement officials look for shooting range options

Phelps County law enforcement officials are looking for a permanent place to hold target practice.
“I’d like to have something that is permanently attached to Phelps County, for training,” said Sheriff Rick Lisenby. “We don’t need a lot of acreage. What I’d like to find is a piece of personal property attached to government land. We just need flat land for the range, which is maybe, five to ten acres?”
The sheriff said it needs to be isolated enough to alleviate noise problems for the bordering neighbors.

Phelps County Law enforcement is currently negotiating with a landowner, but the property is larger than they need for their shooting range purpose. The river bottom of this property is currently being leased by the Sheriff’s Department for range practice.
Sheriff Lisenbe explained that his deputies are graded on how they shoot their firearms and have to spend a certain amount of time with target practice within two qualifying periods during the year.

“We’re getting ready to do our fall qualification,” he explained. “Our spring-early summer qualification is with shotguns and .40 and .45 caliber pistols. In the fall [our officers must qualify] with .223 caliber rifles and the pistols again. Somewhere between there, we do the off-duty guns, for those that carry guns off-duty.”

The sheriff explained that Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) Troop I, has an indoor range, but it only accommodates four shooters at a time. “It takes time to run a number of officers through,” he added. He also noted that they do their qualifying shotgun and rifle time on an outdoor range like the Sheriff’s Department. They’re using the quarry off Hwy. Y. Rolla Fire and Police also have a contract with the old quarry, where they currently practice shooting their firearms.
“I’m looking for a place to accommodate us, the Rolla Police Department and the MSHP,” said the sheriff.

Courthouse upgrades security with new high resolution cameras

In a move to increase courthouse and jail security, Sheriff Lisenby explained that new high resolution security cameras have been installed in the courtrooms and outside the courthouse and jail compound. Newer technology with digital optics has made it possible to better identify target objects such as license plates and human facial features.

[With these cameras, from here] I can read a license plate on (Hwy.) 63,” said Sheriff Lisenby, referring to the camera zooming capability, while retaining fine detail. “We can take a still shot (off of the computer) and weeks later, if needed, blow up what little piece (off that video still) we need to see.”
The sheriff said the pre-existing cameras had been installed over five years ago.
“The old cameras were grainy,” he explained. “You didn’t see any detail at all.”

New bullet-proof vests for bailiffs

Sheriff Lisenby also informed the commissioners that five bailiffs are getting sized for bullet-proof vests. He explained the bailiffs made a request for the vests. “The only option is, if we buy them, you will wear them,” he said.
He explained that it is a removable vest that you wear like a jacket, to be worn in the courthouse and will be purchased through the bailiffs clothing allowance.

A county wellness program is introduced

Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) Assistant Director and Clinical Educator Starlyn Reynolds made a presentation for the county commission concerning a wellness program. She said it only makes sense for the hospital to lead with such an undertaking.
“When you think about it, we’re the county hospital—everyone comes here at some point, because we’re local and accessible,” noted Reynolds. “Our vision is to build a healthy community.”

Reynolds said the wellness program idea came to fruition based on her involvement as coordinator with the out-patient diabetes education program. She saw how patients were truly taking control of their health. She said that wellness success research from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) stressed an “engaged population,” which is why the CDC works with large companies. Reynolds inferred an engaged population, is one that thrives on the support of the group.

She believes that workers in large companies in Phelps County can benefit from a similar program, because they are vested in a workplace to achieve certain goals, so the similarity towards achieving health goals would not be lost on them.
“If we can give them the tools they need to become healthier, that will in turn, improve their outcome towards achieving a successful life,” she said.
According to Reynolds, many healthcare programs have been based on quantity, but the focus has changed to quality.

For patients with chronic conditions, the PCRMC wellness program could provide program participants with an improved knowledge of self-management strategies to promote wellness and have an improved relationship with the healthcare team to reduce healthcare costs and experience improved overall health, leading to a quality life.

A PCRMC core group ran a startup program with a sample group of participants that were diabetic or on-set diabetic. Reynolds said out of the sample group of 21, over half reduced their weight by two to fifteen percent and everyone reduced their blood pressure. The results of the A1C test, a blood test that provides information about a person's average levels of blood glucose, also called blood sugar, over the past 3 months, were reduced to less than seven percent in over half of the participants. Finally, 75% of the participants reported feeling better and happy with the outcomes of the program.

Within this particular group, Reynolds said there were no copay insurance benefits and no out-of-pocket deductibles when using the PCRMC laboratory or those that qualified for diabetes self-management education.

The county commissioners seemed interested in the program, particularly taking the current on-site county health department facilities into consideration.
“We could set our own guidelines to see who could qualify [to be a participant and to determine a payment structure],” said Commissioner Larry Stratman.
Presiding Commissioner Randy Verkamp said, “I’d like to run this up the flagpole with all of our folks. The commitment to wellness is something we should all be keenly interested in.”