Batesville - No Police Force?

February 21, 2007 -- Posted at 5:30 am CST

Batesville, AR -- Batesville is similar to any other city, except you won't find a city police car anywhere on the streets.

"We have the metro units that patrol the city and the Sheriff's Department patrols the county."

Sheriff Keith Bowers explained why there was no city police force.

"Back in the 80's, the city wanted to save money, so they drew up an agreement with the county saying that they would do their law enforcement."

Saving on expenses the county now covers.

"Police stations, uniforms, insurance. Those are all things that you don't realize would have to come out of the city's pocket. There have been talks about splitting it up into two forces, but the advantages of keeping it together always outweigh the disadvantages."

Sheriff Bowers says they keep it like it is because it works, and why fix something that isn't broken?

"It works real well. You know that's the beauty of the thing, we're all like minded and we're all one force so we help the city and the city helps us so it works real well."

But with the Sheriff's Department covering the county and the city, how protected are the citizens of Batesville?

"It usually amounts to 2 people in the city and 2 in the county, and then you have a roaming supervisor. The city is growing a little bit faster than what our force is growing, so soon we will have to think about getting more man power."