Officers with the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department spent $16,647.26 out of more than $23,000 that was allocated in a private fund for their Shop with a Deputy program over the Christmas season.
William Davis, treasurer with the Southwest Missouri Fraternal Order of Police, gave the Jasper County Commissioners a report on Tuesday on how the money from the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office Benevolent Fund, which was transferred to the FOP last year, was spent.
The account had been caught up in the struggles late last year between former Jasper County Sheriff Archie Dunn and the county commission until the FOP stepped in last November to take over management of the $23,347.85 in the fund.
Davis gave the commissioners a written report.
Davis said the bulk of the money was spent on Dec. 12, 2012 when 150 gift cards, valued at $100 each were purchased and used to take 117 children, mostly from the Sarcoxie, Avilla and Jasper schools, on a Christmas shopping run through the Carthage Walmart.
Davis said some of the 33 gift cards were used to pay the tab if a child went a little over $100, while other gift cards were used to help children found after the Dec. 12 event in need of help.
Another $1,179.41 was used, again at the Carthage Walmart, to buy food that was delivered to elderly citizens in Jasper County identified by sheriff’s deputies as needing help.
Davis reported that three more VISA gift cards, valued at $150 each, were bought at the Joplin Best Buy store and used to buy gifts and other items for three children of a Joplin woman who was murdered on Nov. 18, 2012.
Davis said deputies also bought $496.45 worth of Christmas gifts for people with disabilities who are under the care of the Jasper County Public Administrator.
Davis said this money was taken from other money donated to the benevolent fund.
Davis said the amount of money left that is covered by the agreement between the FOP and the Commissioners is $6,700.59.
The agreement came about after a standoff between Dunn and the Commissioners over the money, which came from private donations, but was held in an account that had the county’s name on it and was opened using the county’s tax identification number.
The commissioners closed the account last summer, and the check for the balance was sent to the former sheriff and required the signatures of Dunn and Presiding Commissioner John Bartosh to cash.
The two sides spent several weeks trying to come to an agreement over how to cash the check and use the money before the FOP stepped up and offered its services.
The FOP also handles the money raised for the Joplin police department’s Shop with a Cop program.
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