Trending Topics

All Ark. PD patrol officers resign after demands about police funding go unheard

The officers wanted a $100K grant to be used for raises, new equipment, vehicles and positions for increased backup


Photo/YouTube via THV 11 News

By Ashley Silver

HASKELL, Ark. — Every patrol officer with the Haskell Police Department walked out of a city council meeting and resigned amid a grant funding dispute – just nine days into the new mayor’s tenure.

According to THV 11 News, the issue stemmed from decisions made regarding $100,000 in funding awarded to the Haskell Police Department last month. Officers wanted the money to be used for better pay, new lifesaving equipment, new vehicles and allow for new positions to become available, providing more backup.

“I wish the citizens would speak out and let the city council know that, you know, their officers need help. They need units. They need safety equipment, you know, every other city makes it happen. Let’s make it happen in Haskell,” Lt. Jimmy Foreman said before the meeting started.

Mayor Clyde Crookham stated that he didn’t know of any issues prior to the meeting, but said that some of the officer requests aren’t possible with grant money due to grant restrictions. Furthermore, he said local tax revenue isn’t enough to adhere to their specifications, according to the report. Crookham also stated that nearby cities raising their officers’ salaries left their small-town police department struggling to compete.

“Nine days as mayor now, so I really don’t know what all has been going on with the former administration,” Crookham said during the meeting. “We’re kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place because we don’t have the money and the people are not spending the money – don’t have enough revenue.”

When Foreman confirmed with the mayor that there would be no changes that night, he led the walkout. As they left, he and several other officers said, “Y’all can find somebody else to patrol the city.”

Haskell Police Chief Brad Hicks later confirmed that every patrol officer had resigned. Officials told THV 11 News that Saline County and Arkansas State Police are prepared to cover calls as needed until the vacant positions are filled.