Mayor has liability concerns for officers

WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) - After one of Walnut Ridge's police officers was injured while helping a Hoxie officer during an arrest, Mayor Charles Snapp plans to bring up a liability concern to council members at the next Walnut Ridge City Council meeting.

Tuesday afternoon, Snapp released an agenda that listed the issue as "Discussion of the WRPD backing up the Hoxie PD and liability issues."

"This will be an open discussion for the Walnut Ridge City Council about the Walnut Ridge Police Department when they back up municipalities or the county when they are not in the city limits of Walnut Ridge and the liability associated with it," said Snapp.

He says in January 2015, the council passed a resolution that was an agreement between Walnut Ridge and Hoxie in which officers would always back each other up if needed.

However, the resolution did not mention who is liable for medical bills or workman's comp should an officer get injured in the line of duty outside of their city limits.

"Looking at the fire departments agreement with other cities, they actually say the city they are backing up accepts the liability of it," said Snapp. "I think we should do the same and vice versa if a Hoxie officer was to get hurt in our city limits."

Snapp said he wants to bring it to the council's attention in hopes that they will consider an updated agreement between the police departments that would establish the liability of somebody hurt while working in another city.

"Our residents are accepting the liability when our officers go out of town," said Snapp. "It wasn't a major cost this time because we were lucky, but what if that officer had been shot or, heaven forbid, they'd be killed down there."

The meeting is planned for Jan. 16 at the Walnut Ridge Police Complex.

Copyright 2017 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