Osage County deputies hand out turkeys instead of tickets

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CHAMOIS – Osage County Sheriff’s Office deputies and employees from Dan Mense Bail Bonds got into the holiday spirit Wednesday morning as they passed out turkey dinners to families in need. They knocked on the doors of houses they said they know are in need of a meal this Christmas.

“To be able to put a smile on somebody’s face this time of year,” Deputy Arthur Strickland said. “Taking off the stress, so they don’t have to worry about where their meal is going to come from.”

Deputies started off pulling people over to surprise them with turkeys, but decided after a few stops to surprise people at home instead. 

The idea to hand out turkeys came from Mense's colleague, who did something similar last month in Belle, Missouri. 

“Good, bad, or indifferent with our business, we deal with a lot of people who have issues and problems,” said Dan Mense. “Giving back to the community is something we are proud to do.”

When Mense approached the Osage County Sheriff’s Office about doing something similar in mid-Missouri, deputies said they were all for it. The group selected Chamois to pass out the meals because of the economic hardships the community has faced in recent years. Osage County Sheriff Mike Bonham said his town is still struggling to recover from the closure of the Chamois Power Plant in 2013.

For Mense, it is also personal.

“My family is from this area on my mom’s side of the family,” Mense said. “She passed away last April so she would really be tickled with what’s going on.”

Deputies said they are happy to help ensure these families will have food on the table.

“It was very nice to know we could help a family out that’s in need,” Strickland said.

Mense said he hopes the idea will spread to other departments and communities.

“We’re not doing this for the exposure, we’re doing it to give back to people,” Mense said. “Hopefully other agencies will jump in on the bandwagon and do it in the future.”

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