Community Outreach & Events
Our office is very committed to helping our citizens and community. On a daily basis we see the needs many of our citizens have, the financial burdens, family members battling drug-alcohol or other addictions, unemployment, and criminal or civil liabilities.
We also see the frustrations of many people making bad choices, ending up in jail or prison, and never escaping the repetitive path through the criminal justice system. We see people who grew up in good families and fall into the wrong path. We see people who grew up only wondering when mom or dad would get released or returned to jail or prison and still believe this is a normal way of life.
We believe law enforcement organizations are only as good as our worst employee and no better then the citizens we serve. We know the importance of being involved with our community and interact with our citizens at all levels. We strive to consistently demonstrate good choices and good actions are rewarded and good citizenship pays dividends.
In 2011 Sheriff Steve Cox and the Livingston County Sheriff's Office (LCSO) began a "Secret Santa" program where throughout the year we identify good people who are deserving of a hand-up instead of a hand-out through no fault of their own.
Each December we reward these people in ways best suited for their individual or family needs. We have helped senior citizens with new appliance(s) that were otherwise doing without. We have helped families with a member battling a horrible disease or who have lost nearly everything to have needed items, comfort, and/or make a lasting life-long memory for all. We have filled the pantries and refrigerator/freezers of some who were too proud to seek public assistance. We even helped an elderly lady who was dying of cancer dance and "Thank Santa" when she received her only wish of an electric blanket, just so that she could keep warm. Thanks to our generous friends and supporters, we have literally helped scores of people and families.
During our 5th annual Secret Santa in 2015, as Santa Clause asked Sheriff Cox to reach out to a family whose 3rd grade daughter wrote a very touching Santa letter. In that letter the young girl's only "Need" was to help other people have a good Christmas, because some do not get to celebrate Christmas.
A young girl named Lily led the LCSO to various places in Chillicothe and Livingston County for our 2015 Secret Santa. Lily made certain we wore our "Santa Hats" and she was one of the first through every door while carrying gifts for the families. Together we had many tough and touching moments as we met some people in difficult situations, we saw tears, and lots of smiles, but everywhere we made friends and shared the true meaning of Christmas.
Lily was an inspiration to everyone she met. Lily was a true leader and even gave one of her favorite dolls to a young girl whose family had lost nearly everything in a house fire just a few weeks before.
Santa also helped us share the Spirit of Christmas with literally thousands of people in 2015. Our Secret Santa Team was shadowed by Ms. Brittany Tutt of the Chillicothe Constitution Tribune and by a news team from Fox 4 News in Kansas City, both reported on Lily's Santa letter and how together we served our community. (Please click on the respective links below to view and read those stories.)
Lily is a very smart and wonderful person, but most of all she has a huge heart. We can all learn something from a child if we just listen. We cherished our time with Lily that day as she was an inspiration to us and many other people.
The Livingston County Sheriff's Office will continue with our annual Secret Santa program again in 2016. We certainly would enjoy having more partners in this venture so please call us if you would like to join our team with a tax-deductible donation to Secret Santa.
In 2011 we began collecting and saving for a "Secret Santa" project through our office. We intended on providing families in Livingston County with food and supplies to good people and truly in need of assistance. We found so many people deserving of this we chose to share our secret and are glad we did. In all we were able to spend over $3,000 on area families and seniors, some of which were first unwilling to allow us to reward them for being good citizens.
We proudly partnered with the RSVP so that donations are tax deductible. The Chillicothe Elks joined in and gave us bicycles to provide to any children of families who were on our list. Our deputies were sporting Santa Hats as they delivered the gifts to the children.
When finished it was evident this was very rewarding to those we met and also for our staff. We learned a great deal about life and friendship in the time we spent with these people. Our goal is to make this an annual event and help good people who are truly in need and appreciate the opportunity.
If you are interested in donating to this annual event, please call either Sindy Fitzpatrick or Steve Cox at 660-646-0515. Your donations are tax deductible and will be used wisely.
Helpful Information for Crime Victims
1. VINE Services: Anyone who is a crime victim may you may enroll in a program to help keep you notified of the location of the suspect if he/she is in custody either in a county jail or in prison. (Note: Occasionally some counties and the Department of Corrections information will not be available to VINE.)
Go to the web site www.vinelink.com and then click on the state you are in. For crimes in Missouri click on the State of Missouri and follow the directions. If someone does not have the Internet they may call 866566-8267 or TTY Users may call 866-847-1298.
VINE Services is free of charge and is very useful for many crime victims.
2. Crime Victim Advocate (CVA): Ms. Karen Hinton is currently serving as our CVA. This is a grant funded position in Livingston County and our CVA is housed in the Office of Livingston County Prosecuting Attorney Adam Warren on the 2nd floor of the Livingston County Courthouse. You may reach her by calling 660-646-8000, ext. 215. The CVA is there to help keep you informed and involved in the Court process. As a victim you have certain rights.