Helping Law Enforcement Becomes A Force For Good

Pictured left to right: Front row: Musicians Jim Hayes, Darlene Hayes and Bill Roberts, FBSCO President Carrie Rieman, Sheriff Eric Knox, FBCSO Treasurer Diana Marmino, Deputy Sean McCannon and Lieutenant Dean Noll. Second row: Deputy Eric Crittendon, Deputy Randy Koenke, Deputy Nikki Ehlers and Deputy Grant Johnson. Third row: FBCSO Board Members Bill Reece, Kathleen Reece, Vice President Peggy Crabtree Berry, Secretary Martha Foster and Deputy Storm Walker. Back row: Benton County Commissioners Jim Hansen, Dale “Jr.” Estes, Michelle McLerran Kreisler and FBCSO Board Member Daniel Porterfield.
The Friends of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office (FBCSO), along with Jim and Darlene Hayes, Bill Roberts and a host of other talented musicians, held a fundraiser at the Truman Lake Opry on October 28th to help raise the final amount needed to purchase bulletproof vests for the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.  An extraordinary number of Benton County organizations and community members helped provide the initial funding for the vests; the FBCSO goal was to raise the remaining balance.
The current vests are up to seven years outdated, which can mean problems with both protective value and violation of insurance terms. With that in mind, the fundraising effort advertised the need for new vests, asking our community for help. It was a fantastic night, and to the delight of the volunteers $2,424.00 was raised from ticket sales and donations. The Benton County Commissioners had agreed to cover the remaining balance up to $5,000 after the fundraiser.
Sheriff’s Office personnel had applied for a grant to help with the vest funding, the original application was rejected.  Another grant was submitted and fundraisers were planned to help pay for the remaining funds needed.  The community support has been overwhelming. The FBCSO was set to present the check to Sheriff Knox when the news arrived that the second grant proposal had been accepted.
It was decided that the best use would be in a program which would assist with grants and foundations. The majority of the equipment and manpower goals of the FBCSO will be raised through these venues. This particular type of program has access to thousands of  various financial opportunities, along with providing support for developing and writing applications. Several members of the FBCSO have grant writing experience, but the search to find funding opportunities is daunting. (Seeking funds has become both a cottage industry and a sizable business) So FBCSO decided a comprehensive program for seeking out these possibilities would be a valuable asset for our community.
In addition to fundraising, the FBCSO will be hosting community classes in conjunction with the Sheriff’s Office. Classes on Self-Defense and Conceal and Carry are planned for 2018. President Carrie Rieman stated “We are helping to serve and protect those who protect and serve us. We hope to help strengthen not only the Sheriff’s Office, but the whole community.” For more information about the Friends of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, email them at or you can find them on Facebook at Friends of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.