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Armed SWAT Team To Patrol Arkansas Streets

Armed SWAT team Arkansas

UPDATED

Paragould, AR – The mayor and police chief of Paragould, Arkansas announced at a town hall meeting last week that beginning in 2013 an armed SWAT team will be patrolling their streets. Police Chief Todd Stovall stated that such a bold move was necessary to “take back” the streets of their town.

According to Paraground Daily Press, The new street crimes unit will be outfitted in SWAT gear and will be armed with AR-15 assault rifles. Chief Stovall has asserted that the team will be stopping everybody they see wandering around on the streets. Anyone who is stopped will also be expected to produce proof of identification.

When questioned about constitutional rights, Stovall stated that the crime statistics in Paragould are enough reasonable cause to question citizens and demand their ID. He also explained that anyone failing to produce identification would be charged with obstructing a governmental operation. During the town hall meeting Chief Stovall stated:

“To ask you for your ID, I have to have a reason. “Well, I’ve got statistical reasons that say I’ve got a lot of crime right now, which gives me probable cause to ask what you’re doing out. Then when I add that people are scared…then that gives us even more [reason] to ask why are you here and what are you doing in this area.”

City Attorney Allen Warmath pointed out that while the questioning was not illegal, probably cause and the total circumstances of an arrest would likely be examined by a judge during any court proceedings.

Paragould Mayor Mike Gaskill agrees with the plan, but is more reserved. Gaskill suggested that the armed SWAT team will focus primarily on people who are unknown and those thought to be involved in criminal activity. He urged citizens to be more proactive with reporting crime and also in descriptions of suspects. Gaskill stated that this would help the SWAT team to respond more effectively.

RT.com reports that Paragould has had a significant increase in crime, compared to other cities and the entire State of Arkansas:

“Paragould has had a property crime index rating more than double the national average since 2007. Rapes, burglaries, thefts and assaults per capita are also well above the mean there.”

Chief Stovall is plans to continue discussing the plan with members of the community during two more scheduled town hall meetings before the end of the year.

UPDATE 12/18/12:

The two town hall meetings previously scheduled to further discuss this issue were cancelled by the Paragould Police Department. The notification, found on the department’s website states:

“In the interest of public safety, we have elected to cancel the remaining Town Hall Meetings. We have corresponded with numerous residents and non-residents today alone who were both supportive and against our Street Crimes Unit and Town Hall Meetings.

Some of the correspondance has caused us great pause in whether or not the meetings should remain as scheduled.

As the police department, it is our duty to protect ALL residents and non-residents from harm. We feel that with the strong feelings on both sides of the Street Crimes Unit issue, a safe and productive meeting would not be the probable outcome.”

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Comments

26 Responses to “Armed SWAT Team To Patrol Arkansas Streets”

  1. Tarl Warwick

    I suggest everyone in this town hold an emergency vote to remove the mayor and police chief from office.

    Failing that, abandon your homes and stay with relatives.

    That this would happen in the United States is insane.

    Arm yourselves well, folks.

  2. Rebecca Cirigliano

    I agree is this Marshall law? What gives this mayor the right to question someone out in the street? Is it illegal to walk down the street? Last I heard we lived in America where citizens had rights. Unless we have suddenly turned into a socialist or communist country I would say this guy is like the President of Egypt trying to over extend his authority and removing citizens rights.

  3. Lisa Lee

    So now the children/people will either be prisoners in their own homes or stereo-typed? Since when is it a crime to walk on the street with no ID? SMH!

  4. Rebecca Cirigliano

    Ps. I would say this is one time when your vote clearly back fired on them. These two need to go if these people allow this they will be searching their homes and tapping their phones without a warrant next if they haven't already gone that far.

  5. Kristina Crawley

    Good. I agree with this. And for the people advising the citizens in this town of AR to remove the elected officials, MOVE TO AR AND THEN ADVISE PEOPLE OF YOUR OPINION, until then, bugger off.

  6. Karen White

    From a nearby town- Good for Paragould! The citizens, those who have not lost their right to vote because of felonies, should be applauding this tactic. Watch the crime rate spiral DOWNWARD!

  7. Kristina Crawley

    Cindy Johnson Tiffany Nance Davidson Jessica Nance Melissa Johnson Fowler Heather Nicole

  8. Kristina Crawley

    Oh because wikepedia is 100% true!? You believe everything posted on the internet, huh?

  9. Tarl Warwick

    You must be Todd Shovelsallfood's relative or something- I wouldn't be surprised if you were.

    If you support martial law why not move to Afghanistan?

  10. Tarl Warwick

    By the way just so you're aware- wikipedia is actually very accurate- almost moreso than a standard encyclopedia… because of its sources (don't shoot me I am just the messenger- all the news sources were wowed a few years ago at how it was apparently more accurate than encyclopedia brittanica, and far larger.)

  11. Tarl Warwick

    You must be a very fascist friendly person if you see no problem with violating the fourth amendment because of the crime rate.

    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

  12. Tarl Warwick

    Just ask Kristina Crawley up above your comment- she apparently reacts with hostility to "the outsiders" saying how retarded her local police are.

    Note to Kristina, this is 2012, if your local police are retarded the internet will find out.

  13. Tarl Warwick

    All you have to do to get people to hand over their liberty is to make them afraid of the way things are- scared sheep will willingly submit to any command from the law.

  14. Tarl Warwick

    THE NEW ANTHEM OF PARAGOULD:

    Die Fahne hoch! Die Reihen fest geschlossen!

    SA marschiert mit ruhig festem Schritt.

    Kam'raden, die Rotfront und Reaktion erschossen,

    Marschier'n I'm Geist in unser'n Reihen mit.

    Die Straße frei den braunen Batallionen.

    Die Straße frei dem Sturmabteilungsmann!

    Es schau'n aufs Hakenkreuz voll Hoffnung schon Millionen.

    There Tag für Freiheit und für Brot bricht an!

    Zum letzten Mal wird Sturmalarm geblasen!

    Zum Kampfe steh'n wir alle schon bereit!

    Schon flattern Hitlerfahnen über allen Straßen.

    Die Knechtschaft dauert nur noch kurze Zeit!

    Die Fahne hoch! Die Reihen fest geschlossen!

    SA marschiert mit ruhig festem Schritt.

    Kam'raden, die Rotfront und Reaktion erschossen,

    Marschier'n I'm Geist in unser'n Reihen mit.

  15. Nick Raines

    I will be in that city january 22nd and my team will be walking the streets filming waiting for our constitunal rights be violated. Then we will also be there election time to help get this Mayor Out Of Office.

  16. Kelly Gomer

    If you're not doing anything but walking, what's the problem? Show your ID and keep walking. I don't have a problem with it, but I'm not going to be breaking the law in any way.