Blytheville Police Department understaffed during shooting spree - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Blytheville Police Department understaffed during shooting spree

(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)
BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) -

With multiple shootings reported in Blytheville over the past week, the police department is working extra while also running low on manpower.

According to Chief Ross Thompson, the police department's staff is the lowest it's been in 10 years.

The department had a full staff of 58 officers 12 years ago, but now they only have 33 staff members. 

Thompson said that they had to reluctantly lower the full staff to just 39 officers due to budget cuts.

He said the 10 shooting calls they have responded to in just seven days has lowered the community and the department's morale. 

“We had kind of a nice law there for a while, but this has really disrupted the peace,” Thompson said. “This has really taken away some of the peace of mind in some of the citizens that I think we had reinstilled.”

Thompson said he currently has three general investigators, three narcotics investigators, and one captain who he feels can and will solve these shootings.

But he also pointed out that they receive a lot of help from the community. 

“What we were seeing was that people were coming up afterward, and they were communicating, and they were talking with us,” Thompson said.

He said even though they are understaffed, they are still working day and night to make sure the community of Blytheville is safe.

“You know, we're not going to surrender, we're going to keep on going with it,” said Thompson. “Like I said, we got two warrants and we are looking at more.”

Thompson also said they are looking to send a few of their current officers to the police academy later this year.

That means they will have a greater need for manpower then.

Thompson hopes to hire more officers before that happens.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Watch Region 8 News On Demand: On your Desktop | On your Mobile device

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android

  • Region 8 News</span><a class="customMoreLink" href="/Global/category.asp?C=4391" target="_top">More >></a>Region 8 NewsMore>>

  • Live in Montgomery: The Day before the Big Game

    Live in Montgomery: The Day before the Big Game

    Friday, December 15 2017 11:41 PM EST2017-12-16 04:41:07 GMT
    Saturday, December 16 2017 8:37 AM EST2017-12-16 13:37:47 GMT
    The A-State football team visited the Rosa Parks Museum this week as part of bowl festivities for the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, Ala. (Source: KAIT)The A-State football team visited the Rosa Parks Museum this week as part of bowl festivities for the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, Ala. (Source: KAIT)

    It was a busy Friday as the A-State Red Wolves finished the final preparations for Saturday's game against Middle Tennessee in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, AL.

    It was a busy Friday as the A-State Red Wolves finished the final preparations for Saturday's game against Middle Tennessee in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, AL.

  • One dead, one in custody, investigator says in Lawrence County shooting

    One dead, one in custody, investigator says in Lawrence County shooting

    Friday, December 15 2017 9:17 PM EST2017-12-16 02:17:05 GMT
    Saturday, December 16 2017 8:30 AM EST2017-12-16 13:30:19 GMT
    Lawrence County deputies were at the scene of a shooting Friday night on Highway 91. (Source: KAIT)Lawrence County deputies were at the scene of a shooting Friday night on Highway 91. (Source: KAIT)

    According to Sgt. Jamie White of the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office, authorities there are investigating a shooting in which a woman was killed. 

    According to Sgt. Jamie White of the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office, authorities there are investigating a shooting in which a woman was killed. 

  • Greensborough Village project sees first building construction project

    Greensborough Village project sees first building construction project

    Friday, December 15 2017 11:18 PM EST2017-12-16 04:18:27 GMT
    Friday, December 15 2017 11:38 PM EST2017-12-16 04:38:31 GMT
    A developer said Friday that the Greensborough Village project is moving ahead. (Source: KAIT)A developer said Friday that the Greensborough Village project is moving ahead. (Source: KAIT)

    A 200-acre property project in the Hilltop area of Jonesboro is moving ahead, a developer of the project said Friday. 

    A 200-acre property project in the Hilltop area of Jonesboro is moving ahead, a developer of the project said Friday. 

Powered by Frankly