When I accepted a position with the White County Sheriff’s Office, I was well versed in Narcotics Enforcement. In early 2000, I began working cases on the illegal Narcotics trade in White County. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was in a fairly undisturbed market for the most part. I began by observing suspected target locations and developing patterns of movement and habits. It didn’t take long to realize their tendencies and to predict their movements of when they were cooking Methamphetamine and when they were selling their finished product. The next step was to set a trap and spring it on them. In 2000, I made several felony drug cases and the case count grew with each year until we were at the point of taking down 100+ illicit Methamphetamine lab operations each year. Later the State of Arkansas passed laws regulating the distribution of Pseudoephedrine (better known as “Sudafed”), an Over the Counter cold medicine that was common in many stores around the state. This was followed by many of the surrounding states passing similar regulatory measures and making Pseudoephedrine almost impossible to obtain in the amounts needed to manufacture Methamphetamine.
Our local drug dealers had to re-evaluate their method of operation and come up with another source for Methamphetamine to sell. We learned through Law Enforcement intelligence channels that they commonly turned to the Methamphetamine known as “ICE”, a mainly Mexican National product that is manufactured across the border and smuggled into the U.S. through the Mexico Border region of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Southern California. This “ICE” has become common within White County. Small drug operations have become part of everyday life in White County and it is our job as citizens to root them out once again.
This is where the first portion of my plan comes into play. My plan focuses more on the small time local drug dealers and making life difficult for them to operate drug houses in White County. My plan is to get more deputies specialized training and tools to accomplish this task. I plan to get deputies into areas that don’t see patrol cars often and put them to work deterring the criminals. We need to clear our county of unwanted drug dealers and thieves. When drug dealers run out of money and drugs they turn to thievery. I intend for my deputies to saturate the rural areas of White County and make it as inconvenient for them to violate our homes, shops, farm equipment and automobiles as possible.
Years ago the Sheriff Office conducted Internet Crimes investigations such as sexual predators that were seeking out our children and luring them into meeting them with promises of cash, gifts and sex. I want to put a stop to sexual predators wanting to come to White County and preying on our children. I have a pre-teen in my household and her mother and I control her internet content access. With today’s technology, smart phones are a mainstay in the hands of our kids. Smart phones have high quality cameras that can take sharp pictures and videos as well as GPS tracking devises that can assist criminals in locating our children and our homes. The second part of my plan is to STOP INTERNET STALKING OF OUR CHILDERN. I intend to lure and arrest every sexual predator that will take the bait of our investigations and ask they be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
The Sheriff’s Department is currently responsible for 146 actively registered sex offenders, the cities of Searcy, Beebe, Kensett and Bald Knob are responsible for another 57 and I intend to keep the public aware of their residential locations as allowed by law.
The Third part of my plan is to advocate community crime watches in all communities within White County. Several years ago while assigned to the Narcotics Division, I was the Sheriff Department’s liaison for the Russell Crime Watch. We met monthly with community volunteers and discussed what was going on in their community such as drug activities and investigations that resulted in arrest. The community became involved and it made a difference in the crime rate in this particular area. There are other areas of the county that have active crime watches and I want to see this grow with the Sheriff Department’s assistance.
I would like to host and conduct citizen academies for our residents so they may have a general knowledge of Arkansas laws and how they generally apply in situations. These citizen academies would be free of charge. However, they will give the attendees some good insight into the world of Law Enforcement day-to-day operations.
The fourth part of my plan is I want to expand on our current Law Enforcement Auxiliary program with new recruits and Veterans. We currently have 12 active members. I want to see this grow. Our Auxiliaries are valuable to our mission. I want to see an Auxiliary program for the Detention Center as well. This would involve a state required minimum 120-hour course of instruction, which would be hosted locally. These courses would be offered during normal working hours and as a night course as another option. These courses would certify graduates as part-time or specialized Law Enforcement Officers with the State of Arkansas. I would also offer this same training to our elected Constables as a method of getting much needed training. Programs like these will help White County as a whole in being better protected.
The fifth part: I would like to expand on our already active Canine Program. Currently we have two Canines that are certified in narcotics detection. I would like to expand this to one Canine on every patrol shift. This will cut down on Canine response times and improve overall Narcotics enforcement activities.
I would also like to create a team of Human scent tracking Canines of the sniffing hound category. A team such as this can help us apprehend the fleeing suspects that otherwise “get away” from pursuing officers. I am speaking of the suspects that are stealing from our farms and businesses, breaking into our homes and vehicles; stealing our personal belongings. This type of canine team would also prove to be invaluable for tracking lost persons such as toddlers and elderly citizens.
Finally the Sixth is: I want to see our School Resource Officer’s take an active role in educating our children on the dangers of committing crimes and internet surfing. I also want to see our children instructed on the dangers and the negative effects of drugs. I believe that the earlier we address these types of issues the less likely they will become issues at all.
I am sure as this campaign season progresses, I will develop more ideas that I would like to implement in some shape, form or fashion. I am also sure the more citizens I visit with the more information that will need to be considered.