Dope Dealers, J.P.D. Has The PROWL

September 14, 2005--Posted at 10:23 PM CST

JONESBORO--It is no secret that drugs are a problem here. And to beat the problem, it takes a select group of dedicated public servants to sniff the drugs out. That select group is called the PROWL unit.

Chief Mike Yates said, "The only thing that I have to say is if you have dealing drugs in mind, this is not going to be a very comfortable place to be."

Five officers and two dogs make up this unit. It was the brain child of Chief Yates and Mayor Doug Formon. Formon proposed a crime fighting team like this in his mayoral campaign last fall.

"We have always needed to take it up another step I thought, and I think that is what we are doing today. In fact I know that is what we are doing," said Mayor Formon.

K8 hit the streets with the unit Wednesday afternoon. Within just five minutes, they had already made a bust.

"Everybody gets along great. You want to call each other and say this is what I hear, this is what's going on. Do you want to go work this? We are already to jump in there and help each other get the drugs out of Jonesboro," PROWL Officer John Shipman.

The team has been working together for less than three weeks, and in that time, they have made over 30 misdemeanor arrest and 8 felony arrest.

Shipman says, "It seems like there is a never ending supply of any type of drug, marijuana, crack cocaine, cocaine. Even though you might see in the newspaper or on T.V. a large drug arrest, they are not out of drugs the next day."

That is why this team exist, to be visible so that those who do bad deeds know they are being watched. The PROWL team doesn't work specific hours and doesn't have certain days off, giving them the flexibility to strike at a moments notice.

"I love this job. I love getting out here and finding drugs. That has always been my number one passion. I guess it will always be until I get old enough until I have to retire," said Shipman.

But Shipman won't retire anytime soon. He has got a new cause; being on the prowl and lurking around every corner looking for his next bust.

Shipman says, "The PROWL unit is going to do a lot of good work."