Safety Tips

​​July 2017: Home Security, Water, and Heat Safety

With the recent weather reaching dangerous heat levels and an outbreak of severe storms we figured it best to do a three-part safety corner.   We will be giving tips on water safety, how to deal with the heat, as well as how to secure you home when you are gone on vacation.
Securing your home:

  • Leave lights on.  It would be best if you could set lamp timers to go on and off at different times.  This will give the appearance that someone is home.
  • Leave a trusted neighbor with a key to check on your home at random times.  They could also leave different lights on or move your vehicles from one parking spot to another.
  •  Never buy a fake rock to put your key under.
  • Make sure all of your windows are secure/locked if possible.
  • Make sure all of your blinds are shut.
  • If you can,  get an app and surveillance system set up at your home.
  • Make sure you have dead bolts on your doors.

Water safety:

  • Never swim by yourself.  Use a buddy system.
  • Never swim in water you do not know.
  •  If you are not confident in your abilities in the water, never swim in water you cannot see the bottom of.
  •  In lakes, streams, and rivers wear a life vest.
  • Never drive through water…. If water is over the roadway most likely it is moving a such a speed to throw you vehicle off the road.
  • Never walk through flooded areas.  You never know the dexterity of the ground under the water.
  • Never attempt to try a water rescue by yourself.  Don’t become a victim.

Heat Safety:

  • Drink plenty of water.  Even if you are not thirsty drink water. 
  • If you start to feel light headed get to shade and drink water slowly.
  • If possible when working in the heat wear thin long sleeve shirts.  This will cause you to sweat and cause your shirt to be wet, cooling your body.
  • If you are going to be working in the heat let someone know where you will be.
  • Never drink Ice cold water when you are overheated.  This will have an adverse effect, due to your body having to heat the water.  Best case drink water that is cool but not cold.
  • Take frequent breaks.  One thing the U.S. Military did in Iraq was if the temperature reached 90 plus then the soldiers were required to take a break every hour for 15 minutes.
  • Drink plenty of water.

As always, the Nodaway County Sheriff’s Office is here to help you in any way.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

 ​Nodaway County Sheriff's Office 

June 2017: Highway Travel Safety

​With summer in full swing and vacation season under way, this month’s Safety Corner will focus on highway safety.  According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol there have been 354 fatalities due to vehicle accidents from January 1 2017 until June 13 2017.  To prevent you from becoming part of this tragic number here are some tips and laws to keep in mind as you travel.

Missouri has a law called “slow down and move over”.  This law was set into place to help protect Law Enforcement, Fire Departments, and Ambulances conducting business along a roadway.  It simply states a driver must move over (when safe) or slow down when passing a stopped emergency vehicle displaying emergency lights.  As of August 2012, this law now applies to Missouri Department of Transportation vehicles.  For safest practices, if you see a vehicle along the shoulder of a road way slow down and move over.  This is a safe practice for a stranded vehicle, an emergency vehicle, Missouri Department of Transportation vehicles, and tow trucks.

Missouri has not adopted a ban on cell phones while driving. There are, however, laws in place that prevent use of a cell phone by a driver 21 years of age or younger or texting while operating a commercial vehicle.  Again, the safest and best practice is not to use your cell phone for texting.  If you need to make a call or text either pull to the side of the road and turn on your hazards or use a hands-free device.  It is never safe to read or type a text message while your vehicle is in motion.

As you travel and need to make a stop at night, please find a well-lit area to make a stop.  If you need gas please find a well-lit gas station.  This is for your safety, you never know who may be in the dark.

If you are tired please find a place to stop and rest.  Driving tired is similar in actions as driving drunk.  When you become tired your reaction time slows. 

Don’t drink and drive.  If you are drinking please have a driver.  Remember, you may feel you are okay to drive, however, that is your impairment speaking for you.  If you are caught drinking and driving you will go to jail, lose you license for 30 days, have to pay a fine, go to court, and if you get caught three times it becomes a felony.  Besides all of that every time you get behind the wheel intoxicated you are at risk of injuring other drivers, or worse.

As always, if you have questions or concerns feel free to contact the Nodaway County Sheriff’s Office.

We are here to protect you and help you from becoming a victim.

Detective Zach Long​

April 2017: How to Avoid Scams 

​Anyone can become a victim of Scam or Identity theft.  This can happen without warning or even without being contacted by the suspect; however, most scam and identity thefts can be prevented with knowledge.

Here are a few hints to prevent you from becoming a victim:

  • Never give out any personal information to anyone you do not know.
  • Never give your banking information out.
  • If you receive a call, and the caller tells you they are from a business get the caller’s name and call the business back at their main office.  Never call back the number the caller gives you.
  • Avoid posting any personal information on social media.
  • If you receive a call asking “is this (your name)”, never say yes.  Say “sure” or “(your name) is speaking.”
  • If you bank online or shop online make sure the place you are conducting business is legitimate.
  • If you do business on Craigslist or online Swap Shops make sure you verify user names and accounts.
  • When setting up accounts online, use random unusual answers to security questions.  Purposely misspell, type answer backwards, or use symbols in your answer.
  •  Never send money via Western Union to anyone you do not know.
  • You will never have to pay to claim winning money.  If you get a call saying you won some money but have to send money first it is a scam.

We at the Nodaway County Sheriff’s Office are here for the citizens of this County.  If you have any concerns or questions please contact us. ​

Halloween Safety
Below is a list of tips to keep your ghosts and goblins safe on one of their favorite holidays.

  • Dress in bright costumes
  • Trick or Treat in teams.
  • Only go to well-lit homes and areas
  • Use glow sticks, glow necklaces, glow wrist bands, and or light up shoes
  • Never let your kiddos into a home or near a vehicle you don’t know.
  • If you receive popcorn balls or any other item you find suspicious throw them away.
  • Check the candy to make sure it is suited for the age of your child.  (I check my kids' and take half for daddy)
  • Avoid major highways as they can be dangerous due to the traffic.
  •  And as always have fun.

Holiday Safety

Here are some tips on travel and overall holiday safety.  Some of these tips you may have never thought of, and some you may already know.

  •  Never post holiday travel plans of social media until you return home.  This tells the world you are gone.
  • As hard as it may be, never check into a place on social media while gone.  Again, this tells everyone you are not home.
  • Have a trusted friend collect your mail and newspapers while you are enjoying your travels. You can also contact your paper and see if they can suspend service while you are away.
  • Set timers on your lights.  This will give the appearance that someone is at home turning the lights on.
  • If you have a family member nearby or a trusted neighbor have them check on your home while you are gone.  You could also have them move your vehicle in your driveway every so often to give the appearance you are home.
  • Place game cameras up to monitor your place in case something should happen.

Now let’s get on to how to not be a victim when you are home.

  • If a family member gets an expensive gift I.E. TV, Game Console, Computer, or Stereo, never set the box on the curb.  Instead, burn the box or cut it into small pieces and place into a trash bag.  If you just set the box on the curb you just let everyone know there are expensive items in your home.
  • Drink responsibly and do not drive or let a family member drive. (give Grandma a ride so she does not ran over by them reindeer)
  • Do not leave Christmas tree lights left on overnight, especially if you have a real tree.
  • When putting up lights on your roof don’t be a Clark Griswold.  Use safety and don’t do it on a snowy roof.

​Hunter Safety

Here are some hunter safety tips.  Full disclosure this is only a portion of the safety tips and it is recommended to became certified in hunter safety. 

  • Always wear blaze orange vest and hat.  Blaze orange cannot be mistaken for any color in nature.
  • Never carry a deer out of the timber.  Always drag or cart a deer.
  • Always know your target (meaning you know with 100% certainty that what you are shooting at is legal and what you intend to shoot).  Also know what is behind your target (a bullet will travel through a soft skin animal).
  • Never consume alcohol while hunting.
  • If you are hunting from a blind always use blaze orange tape to mark the outside of your blind or leave your vest and hat hanging from the blind.
  • If you are walking to your blind in the dark use a flash light.  This is so you can see where you are walking and it also lets other hunters know you are not an animal.
  • If you hunt from a stand always use a harness to secure yourself.
  • Let a family member know when you will be back home and where you are hunting in case of an accident.
  • Use firearms safety at all times.
  •  Load and unload your firearm in a safe place and never transport a firearm in a vehicle loaded.

​Domestic Violence Awareness

First and foremost, know the signs.  The following is a list of signs that could be indicators of a violent relationship:

  • One person in the relationship will separate and seclude the other from their family and friends and begin to control their movements.
  • One person will start to take over and control the finances of the other person.  It will start with not allowing money for small things and gradually getting worse.
  • One person will become verbally abusive with insulting behavior.  They may make comments about weight, looks, or not doing household chores.
  • One person will or may begin to demand sexual acts.
  • Finally, one person will become physically aggressive with the other,  starting slow like pushing and shoving, and then gradually getting worse.

For those of you who are a victim or fear a family member or friend are victims with nowhere to go, here is a list of some of the outreach programs you can contact:

Circuit Court of Nodaway County, Missouri

305 North Main Street
Maryville, MO 64468
(660) 582-5431

Northwest Missouri Children and Family Center
Court Advocate, Meghann Kosman
Crisis Line 1-866-382-7867 
(660) 562-2320

Maryville Public Safety Department
222 East Third Street, Maryville
(660) 562-3209

Nodaway County Sheriff's Department
404 North Vine, Maryville
(660) 582-7451

Campus Safety Department
Northwest Missouri State University
(660) 562-1254

The above link is a great source of information on how to handle domestic violence and what the victim’s options are.
Once again, if you think you, a family member, or friend are victims or at risk of being a victim, please reach out.  As always, we here at your Nodaway County Sheriff’s Office are always available to answer any questions or to help in any way we can.  We need your support in bringing this epidemic to an end in our county.

​​​​Scam Info and Prevention

​There are new scams coming out every day and as always, we at your Nodaway County Sheriff’s Office feel prevention is the best policing we can do.

  • IRS scam.  In this scam the IRS will call you and say you owe them money or they will issue a warrant.  Remember the IRS will never call you.  They handle everything through the mail.
  • Can you hear me/ is this your name?  This scam is when you receive a call and the caller will either ask if you can hear them or if your name is so and so.  When you say yes, they record that and use your voice recording to then access your account information via digital voice signature.  Best practice is to say uh-huh, yea, it is, or speaking.  Never say yes.
  • Long lost relative.  Someone will call you and tell you that you have a long-lost relative in a foreign country that has passed away and you are the sole heir of a large amount of money.  The catch is you have to send money to have it processed into the United States.  Bottom line is you don’t have a long-lost relative who is rich and you never have to send money to get money.
  • Relative in jail needing bond.  In this scam you will receive a call from someone saying you have a family member in jail and they need money.  Do not send money.  Best practice is find out what jail they are in, hang up and google that jail.  Then call the jail and see if you have a family member in jail.  The jail will tell you if there is someone in there.
  • You won money.  This one is similar to the long lost relative.  Someone will call you and say you won a large amount of money.  All you have to do is western union them money to process it.  Again, you never have to pay to win money.
  • Stranded Soldier.  A person will reach out to you and say they are a soldier in the U. S. Military.  They will seem legitimate until they say they are stranded in the military and want out, however they need money to get out.  First things first, you cannot buy your way out of the Military.  This is a scam.
  • You won a car.  They call and say that you won a car and all you have to do is send money and you will receive the car.  Again, you never have to pay to win.
  • I can remote fix your computer.  If you get this pop up on your computer you have been hacked.  They will request money to remote fix your computer.  If you deny them they will then try and crash your computer.
  • Insurance.  This one an insurance company will call you and try to obtain information from you.  Most insurance companies will not call you, you have to contact them.
  •  Love of your life.  With this one someone will reach out to you on social media and begin a relationship with you.  They will then begin to ask for money.  Most of the time they are scams. 

Here are some ways to prevent becoming a victim of a scam:

  • Never give any personal information to anyone you do not know.
  • Never give your banking information out.
  • If you receive a call, and the caller tells you they are from a business get the caller’s name and call the business back at their main office.  Never call back the number the caller gives you.  You can usually find the information for the main office on Google.
  • Avoid posting any information on social media.
  • If you receive a call asking is this (your name) never say yes.  Say sure or (your name is speaking).
  • If you bank online or shop online make sure the place you are conducting business with is legitimate.
  • If you do business on Craigslist or Swap Shop make sure to  verify user names and accounts.
  • When setting up accounts online, use random unusual answers to security questions.  Purposely misspell, type answers backwards, or use symbols in your answer.

As always, your Nodaway County Sheriff’s Office is just a call away.  If you have any questions or feel you have become a victim of a scam please feel free to call and a Deputy will assist you.  

Cold Weather Safety

​Welcome back to your Nodaway County Safety Corner.  
Here are a few ideas and tips that could make your life easier or possibly save a life.


  • If a storm rolls in with ice or snow, use caution when traveling.  If the roads are bad and you do not need to travel, stay home.  When you travel it affects more than just you, it affects your family, and the responders as well.
  • Keep sandbags in your vehicle.
  • Keep cat litter in your vehicle.  If you get stuck place cat litter under your drive tires for traction.
  • Carry a small shovel in your vehicle in case you get stuck and can dig yourself out.
  • Carry extra blankets, dry clothing, and coats in your vehicle.
  • Keep one or more cell phone chargers in your vehicle.
  • Keep your vehicle fuel above ¾ a tank.
  • Keep a flashlight and extra batteries in your vehicle.
  • Remove a child’s coat before placing them in a car seat.  The extra bulk of the coat will not allow the car seat to properly secure the child.
  • Never warm up a vehicle in a garage.  Remove it before you leave it to warm up.


  • Always make sure you have plenty of propane for heat.
  • Keep extra blankets in your home in case of a power outage.
  • Keep a generator ready and fueled in case of a power outage.
  • Keep extra food in your home in case you get snowed in.
  • Keep flashlights and batteries ready to go.
  • Keep extra water in a safe, warm place.
  • Bring your pets inside if possible.  Or place a heat lamp in their area for warmth.


  • If you have an elderly or disabled neighbor please keep an eye on them. 
  • Make sure they have heat.
  • Make sure they have plenty of blankets.
  • If the power goes out please look after your loved ones and neighbors.

We at your Nodaway County Sheriff’s Office are always just a call away.  If you need anything or know someone in need please reach out and we will do all we can to help.  Stay safe and warm.