General Administration Information
WHO SHOULD I CALL TO REPORT A CRIME?
No matter where you actually live, if the crime occurred in unincorporated Ste. Genevieve County, you need to call the Sheriff's Office. If the crime occurred in a city that has its own police department, the crime should be reported to the City Police Department.
The Sheriff's Office has three main numbers you may call. Those numbers are 911 (emergency), 573-883-5215 (Ste. Genevieve County Central Dispatch), and 573-883-5820 (Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff's Office main number).
911- should only be used to report emergencies that require immediate response or action by law enforcement or emergency service personnel.
Although your address will appear on the 911-computer screen when you call, the dispatcher will still immediately ask you your address and the nature of your emergency. This is to verify that the address on the screen is accurate. On rare occasions, the address displayed on the screen is different than the location the caller is actually calling from. Also, the location of cell phone calls do not display on the screen. Also, the caller may be calling from a different address than where the emergency is actually occurring.
If your emergency requires law enforcement response, Ste. Genevieve County Central Dispatch will take your information and dispatch a deputy. If your emergency requires an ambulance or fire department, your call will be transferred to the appropriate dispatching agency for that department. This transfer will be instant. The Ste. Genevieve County Central Dispatcher will remain on the line with you until the call is answered by that dispatching agency.
It is important that the 911 number not be called for road conditions, general information, to report a non-emergency crime, information, etc. Tying up these lines for non-emergency issues could cost a life.
From time to time major incidents occur where Sheriff's Office phone lines become tied up. Not only are dispatchers answering phones, they are also handling radio traffic for emergency service agencies involved. Please be patient. If you receive a repeated busy signal on the business or communications phone number, please do not call 911 to bypass those lines that are busy unless your call is an emergency.
573-883-5215 is the number that rings in the Ste. Genevieve County Central Dispatch 24 hours a day, seven days a week including holidays. This number should be used to report a crime that is "non-emergency." This line can also be used to report emergencies. 911, however, is the primary emergency number and has response (answering) priority over 573-883-5215.
WHO DO I CALL TO OBTAIN INFORMATION, CONTACT A DEPUTY, ETC?
573-883-5820 is the number to contact the Sheriff's Office during normal business hours 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
This number should be used for, but not limited to, the following:
- Contact a deputy for information or about your case
- Information about handgun permits
- Contact someone in the Jail Division
- Contact someone in the Detective Division
- Contact someone in the Road Patrol
- Contact a supervisor
- Contact the Sheriff
- Obtain a police report
- General information
HOW DO I CONTACT THE SHERIFF?
During business hours just call 573-883-5820 and ask for the Sheriff. If he is in the office the receptionist that answers the phone will transfer the call directly to the Sheriff. If he is not in, the person answering the phone will either take a message and let him know that you called or transfer you to his voicemail.
HOW DO I GET A COPY OF A POLICE REPORT?
You may call 573-883-5820 during normal business hours. Missouri Statute allows the Sheriff's Office to charge a fee for reports. The base fee for incident reports is $5.00. The base fee for accident reports is $5.00. Please keep in mind that, depending on the number of pages, this fee could increase.
CAN I GET A COPY OF A FULL REPORT?
In general, police reports are considered public information. There are exceptions in Missouri Law that allow certain parts of a report to be blacked out, or not accessible to the general public. Anyone may obtain a copy of a police report that contains such information as time, date, location, type of report, and a brief summary of the content of the report.
The "investigative report" that contains details of the investigation can be considered confidential in some cases. You may receive a copy that has sections that are "blacked out." Please refer to Missouri Sunshine Law Rsmo. Ch 610 for further guidance and information.
I GET CALLS FROM ORGANIZATIONS WANTING DONATIONS, SAYING THE MONEY GOES TO DIRECTLY TO YOUR OFFICE. HOW DO I KNOW IF THEY ARE LEGITIMATE?
There are many legitimate law enforcement organizations that benefit local law enforcement, but not directly. If you receive a call from an organization that says they give money or equipment "directly" to your local law enforcement, I would question their authenticity. Ask for the organization name and phone number, and contact your local law enforcement to see if the organization is legitimate.
MAY I MAKE AN ANONYMOUS TIP?
Yes. You may keep your name anonymous if requested. You may be asked to give your name, but you are not required to give it.
WHAT IS METHAMPHETAMINE?
Methamphetamine is a drug that is manufactured from products that contain ephedrine. Methamphetamine can be manufactured by using chemicals that can be purchased legally at local hardware, grocery, and convenience stores.
Methamphetamine produces a "high" causing those who use the drug to go for days without sleep. Abusers eventually become paranoid and feel that they are being watched and everyone is out to get them. The addiction rate is extremely high. When the drug enters the system, it must also exit. The drug can exit through the skin causing sores or acne. It can also cause severe tooth decay and loss of hair. The drug can be snorted, smoked, or injected.
Methamphetamine has evolved from single large quantity dealers to local small manufacturing labs. Formulas for making methamphetamine can easily be found on the Internet and is passed on through the drug culture.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I FIND A METHAMPHETAMINE LAB?
It is very common for civilians to find labs along the road, in fields, vehicles, buildings, etc., that have been abandoned. Although chemicals used to make methamphetamine are legal to purchase, when mixed as part of the manufacture process, they can become deadly when inhaled. The phosphate method produces a deadly gas that cannot be seen, or smelled, and will penetrate many types of protective clothing and protective masks. A self-contained breathing apparatus must be used when dealing with this material. You cannot tell you are breathing this gas. Inhaling this gas is deadly.
If you locate what you feel might be a lab, do not smell or handle any of the chemicals or equipment yourself. Contact your local law enforcement agency or the Sheriff's Office and give them the location of the lab.
HOW CAN I TELL IF SOMEONE IS TAKING METHAMPHETAMINE?
Individuals that use methamphetamine will be very nervous and hyperactive. They need very little sleep and will at times be up for days. They will eventually become paranoid and sometimes violent. Other signs are loss of hair, sores on the skin, and rotting teeth. These signs are more common in chronic users of the drug.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I PROVIDE INFORMATION ABOUT DRUGS?
When drug information is received, it is passed on to the Detective Bureau.
I CALLED TO REPORT DRUG INFORMATION BUT NOTHING HAPPENED. WHY WAS MY INFORMATION NOT ACTED UPON?
There are several possible reasons this can occur. Below are some of the situations we encounter.
The information you provided involves a suspect currently involved in an active investigation. Acting on your information may jeopardize a larger investigation already in progress. Unfortunately, when you call we cannot reveal this information. When the caller sees no action, they feel they were ignored when in fact, their information was important to the case. Because of the confidentiality of investigations, the caller providing the information may never know how important the information was.
Sometimes a caller will provide information that is "current" active drug activity. Although this information may be current, it may be held until an opportune time do to extenuating circumstances involved in an investigation. It may take several months or as much as a year before the effects of this information can be productive.
SOMEONE I KNOW GAVE INFORMATION ABOUT A DRUG OPERATION AND THE SUSPECT WAS ARRESTED THE NEXT DAY. I GAVE INFORMATION ABOUT ANOTHER DRUG DEALER AND NOTHING HAPPENED. WHY WAS MY INFORMATION IGNORED?
When working criminal cases, we must develop "probable cause" before we make an arrest or before we obtain a search warrant. In some cases, establishing enough probable cause to obtain search warrants is easier than others. Each case is approached based on individual situations involved in that particular case. What works in one case, may not work in another. Chances are there were some technicalities involved or other reasons that prevented us from establishing enough probable cause to proceed with your information.
HOW DO I OBTAIN A PERMIT TO ACQUIRE A HANDGUN?
You need to contact the Sheriff's Office in the county where you live and obtain a handgun Permit to Acquire application. The application asks for information about yourself so that a background check can be done to be sure you qualify under the law to possess a handgun.
After you fill out the application, the law allows the Sheriff's Office seven days to process the permit. Depending on the workload, some offices are able to complete the background checks sooner than seven days. When the permit to acquire is issued, you will be required to pay a $10.00 fee authorized by Missouri Statute for the permit. You will be requested to sign the actual permit. No one else can sign the permit for you. You will be given a receipt for the fee that you pay.
You give the permit to the person that you are acquiring the weapon from. That person is to fill in the information about the weapon you are acquiring such as make, model, serial number, and barrel length. That person then signs the permit stating that they transferred the weapon to you, and then returns the form to the Sheriff's Office. The receipt you receive for the permit fee is your copy or proof that you had a permit to acquire the handgun. You should carry that receipt with you at all times when you have the weapon in your possession.
I WANT TO PURCHASE A HANDGUN FROM AN INDIVIDUAL (or) I AM RECEIVING A GUN AS A GIFT. WHAT MUST I DO TO COMPLY WITH THE LAW?
Any time you acquire a handgun in the State of Missouri, you must first obtain a Permit to Acquire from the Sheriff's Office in the county where you live. Even if the weapon is loaned, given, willed, borrowed, etc., unless you first have the approved permit, you cannot legally acquire a handgun in the State of Missouri. Although they were not strictly enforced until the 1960's, the permit laws actually go back to around 1920. If you purchase from a local gun dealership with an authorized FFL license they can supply the permit.
WHAT IF I LOSE THE PERMIT?
You can apply for a duplicate permit for a small fee at the sheriff's office where the original permit was obtained.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I MOVE? DO I NEED TO GET ANOTHER PERMIT FROM THAT COUNTY?
No. If you obtain a Permit to Acquire a handgun in Ste. Genevieve County Missouri, that permit is good in any area in the State of Missouri.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I MOVE OUT OF STATE?
The permit issued in the State of Missouri does not afford you rights to possess a handgun out of state. It is merely proof that you acquired the weapon legally in the State of Missouri. If you are moving out of state, you need to check on the handgun laws that apply in that state.
WHAT IF I AM TRAVELING OUT OF STATE ON VACATION? CAN I TAKE A WEAPON ALONG?
Every state has uniquely differing handgun laws. Be sure to check on the laws in each state you travel through before you take a weapon with you.
WHAT IF MY WIFE OR SON WANT TO BORROW MY HANDGUN? DO THEY NEED A PERMIT?
They cannot possess the handgun unless you are with them. They must obtain a permit for the handgun to possess the handgun in your absence.
WHAT IF I WANT TO SELL A HANDGUN? WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?
You cannot legally transfer a handgun to anyone, other than a Federal firearms Licensed Dealer, unless that person first gives you a Permit to Acquire a firearm issued by the sheriff's office. After the person has given you the Permit to Acquire, you then fill out the permit describing the handgun you transferred, sign the form, and return it to the Sheriff's Office. You cannot transfer the weapon to the person anticipating that a permit will be issued. The weapon can only be transferred after you are given the Permit to Acquire from the individual that is to receive the handgun.
IF I HAVE A FEDERAL FIREARMS LICENSE, DO I NEED TO OBTAIN A HANDGUN PERMIT BEFORE I RECEIVE ANY HANDGUNS?
Not as long as the handguns you receive are part of the Federal Firearms Licensed business. These handguns are considered part of your business that is licensed by the Federal Firearms License.
If the handgun you receive is to be your personal weapon, and not part of your licensed business, you do need to obtain a Permit to Acquire from the Sheriff's Office.
If you drop or discontinue your Federal Firearms License, and you want to keep handguns that were obtained through your Federal Firearms License, you must obtain a Permit to Acquire from the Sheriff for each weapon. You are technically obtaining them from your business.
WHEN I LIVED IN ANOTHER STATE, I PURCHASED A HANDGUN. I HAVE NOW MOVED TO MISSOURI. DO I NEED TO REGISTER THE HANDGUN?
No. There are no registration laws for handguns in the State of Missouri. The Permit to Acquire is not to register a handgun, but to show that you were given permission to acquire a handgun and qualify to possess a handgun under Missouri Law. You do, however, need to show proof of a legal purchase from the other state. See below Question.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I ENCOUNTER LAW ENFORCEMENT WITH THE WEAPON AND DO NOT HAVE A PERMIT TO ACQUIRE RECEIPT?
If you purchased the weapon legally in another state, then Missouri recognizes this as a legal possession. Technically, you do not need a Permit to Acquire the weapon in Missouri since you have already acquired it legally in another state.
However, you do need to show proof that the weapon was purchased legally in another state. This proof would be in the form of a sales receipt, permit from another state, or some sort of document to verify that you lived in that state and the weapon was legally purchased in that state. If you cannot provide proof the weapon was legally purchased in another state, the weapon may be seized subject to further investigation.
WHO CAN POSSESS A HANDGUN?
To possess a handgun in the State of Missouri you must:
- Be at least twenty-one years of age, a citizen of the United States and has resided in this state for at least six months;
- Have not pled guilty to or been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year under the laws of any state or of the United States other than a crime classified as a misdemeanor under the laws of any state and punishable by a term of imprisonment of two years or less that does not involve an explosive weapon, firearm, firearm silencer or gas gun;
- Not a fugitive from justice or currently charged in an information or indictment with the commission of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year under the laws of any state or of the United States other than a crime classified as a misdemeanor under the laws of any state and punishable by a term of imprisonment of two years or less that does not involve an explosive weapon, firearm, firearm silencer or gas gun;
- Have not been discharged under dishonorable conditions from the United States armed forces;
- Not be publicly known to be habitually in an intoxicated or drugged condition; and
- Not be currently adjudged mentally incompetent and has not been committed to a mental health facility, as defined in section 632.005, RSMo, or a similar institution located in another state.
CAN I OBTAIN A PERMIT TO ACQUIRE A HANDGUN IF I HAVE BEEN CONVICTED OF A MISDEMEANOR?
Yes, unless your conviction relates to domestic violence. There are Federal Laws that prohibit individuals from possessing firearms while under certain Orders of Protection or having been convicted of misdemeanor charges related to domestic violence.