Half of Ark. PD's cruisers torched in parking lot; video shows destruction
Chief Cortez Bowers said he worries that the suspected arson may have been in response to recent efforts to crack down on crime
By Joanna Putman
HUGHES, Ark. — Hughes Police Department patrol cars have been set fire in a suspected act of arson, News Channel 3 reports.
Three cars were set on fire overnight on Sep. 12, leaving only three operating patrol cars left. The department is asking other agencies to donate a patrol car if available.
No suspects have been named yet. Arkansas State Police and state arson inspectors are examining evidence, including security footage.
The Hughes Police Department was briefly disbanded in 2019 due to “an insufficient number of fully certified officers,” according to a city statement obtained by News Channel 3.
The department was reinstated in July 2023, FOX 13 reports.
Chief Cortez Bowers told News Channel 3 that he worries that the arson may have been in response to recent efforts to crack down on crime in the city.
“When you try to affect real change, you get push back like this, but we’re going to take it and we’re going to continue moving forward,” Bowers told News Channel 3.
Bowers told News Channel 3 that he couldn’t put a dollar amount on the equipment damages, but said that the patrol cars themselves were insured.