Joiner Residents React to Continued Police Chief Controversy

MARCH 15, 2006 -- POSTED AT 10:30 P.M. CST

JONESBORO, AR -- The small city of Joiner is usually a quite place, but lately the whole town has been in an uproar over what the city council is doing to someone that some residents are calling a war hero. The city council reached yet another final decision Tuesday night, but some say this is not the end.

"To me, it means they're going to end up being caught in a lawsuit for violating my rights for being disabled. The law specifically states you can't just look at me and tell me I can't do the job," says Anthony Smith, Former Joiner Police Chief.

The local grocery store was full of Joiner residents, many who see this as an outright act of injustice in their city.

"He deserved better. I'd say he was our war hero. And he nearly lost his life going over and fighting for what he thought was the right thing to do, for us and for his country. Yes, I honestly think he deserves his job back. There shouldn't ever be any questions ask about it," says one Joiner resident.

Some went so far as to say they were absolutely ashamed with the whole situation.

"It looks embarassing really, if you ask me, cause no one wants the city to be labeled like that," says another Joiner citizen.

"To me, it looks like they need to get their stuff straight, figure out what chief they want. It's not hard to do. You either want one or the other," says Joiner resident.

The war aspect of this situation seems to be on the top of everyone's mind in Joiner. They say it just doesn't make sense.

"He went and fought for our country. He had a job when he left. He ought to have a job when he comes back," says Joiner resident.

As for the city of Joiner they are without any real full time officers, and the city still doesn't know what's going to happen to their law enforcement once this controversy has been resolved.