Police chief claims DHS failed to respond to report of abandoned baby

Police chief claims DHS failed to respond to report of abandoned baby

WEST MEMPHIS, AR (KAIT) - An Arkansas police chief is frustrated with the Department of Human Services after he received no help when his officers found an abandoned baby.

West Memphis Police Chief Donald Oaks said his officers found a two-month-old in the Krystal Burgers parking lot. The baby, he said, was nearly hit by a car and was found with a pill in the baby carrier.

According to KATV, Chief Oaks said he tried to call DHS after the parents were arrested. He said DHS didn't help.

Instead, Chief Oaks said the child was placed with a relative but because DHS wasn't involved, the parents can pick up the child if they bail out of jail.

"If we can't trust our Department of Human Services to come out when the police are there to help place this child, how do we trust them to see that this child has some opportunity in life going forward," Oaks told KATV.

This isn't the first time it's happened.

Oaks said he met with DHS officials in September over a similar issue.

In a statement to KATV, DHS spokeswoman Amy Webb said, "There was no willful disregard of calls from the West Memphis Police Department. It was an unfortunate confluence of events that resulted in police not getting a returned call for two and half hours…We will continue to work hard to show that we are trying to be good partners with law enforcement."

To read the full statement and read more about Oaks's frustration, click here.

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