Camden County Captain Twitchel reacts to ‘higher than expected’ call volume over Fourth of July weekend

MITCH PRENTICE
Lake Sun Leader

The Lake of the Ozarks has already proven itself as a popular tourist attraction in 2020. With large crowds garnering national media attention as far back as Memorial Day weekend, the area has seen an explosion of traffic each weekend since.

Many local eyes were aimed at the Fourth of July being the next burst of activity in the area and, based on report numbers shared by Camden County Sheriff’s Department, they were correct.

The numbers shared within the Camden County service area were as follows:

Calls for services: 777

Persons Booked into Jail: 47

Dispatched incidents countywide: 1028

Arrests/investigations

Intoxication holds: 8

Assault-2

Burglary 2nd

Traffic-16

Domestic Assault-7

Driving While Intoxicated-4

Fraud-2

Harassment-1

Poss. Controlled Substance-2

Property Damage-7

Stealing-6

Terrorist Threat-1

Trespassing-2

Camden County Sheriff’s Department Captain Chris Twitchel says the call totals were certainly higher than they expected, but he also says they were prepared for such a weekend. He credits Sheriff Tony Helms for having foresight on the matter and having the group ready for the weekend activity.

What surprised Twitchel the most, however, was the lack of major incidents that required service. Though there were numerous DWI, noise complaints and other typical weekend calls, the lack of any potentially devastating calls received was surprising to Twitchel.

Since the Memorial Day weekend tourism spike, he says the county has been preparing its service coverage accordingly. Especially with holidays that land on weekends, the department has extra hands on deck to take care of whatever comes.

Twitchel says much of the work being done wouldn’t be possible without the help of their reserve division, which is comprised of volunteer cops who work for free. The department budget only allows for so much overtime pay, and without the help of the reserve squads, they wouldn’t be able to meet these budget restrictions. Twitchel says they hope to hold onto excess overtime funds for events that they hadn’t planned for, such as the recent Black Lives Matter protest, which he says required unexpected overtime pay.

Overall, despite the large case numbers, Twitchel says he was pleased with the outcome of the weekend and thought it went over well.

“God willing, my guys went home every night with no injuries and for the most part, everyone behaved themselves,” Twitchel said.