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City faces patrol car shortage

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 10:01 PM CDT
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TYRONZA, Ark. (KAIT) - In Tyronza, the police department has had a shortage of cars, leaving police chief Anquion Williams, using his personal car.

Williams says it’s been a headache working around the shortage.

“I was using my new truck. Honestly, I got tired of putting new miles on my brand new truck, so I started using my other vehicle,” Williams said.

Williams is Tyronza’s only officer. After an accident with the town’s only operating patrol car on May 25th, the department was left with no cars.

“Having a dependable vehicle to actually go to calls and just patrol the town. That honestly, that right there was probably the biggest struggle. Not being able to patrol being able to actually be out, be seen, be proactive,” Williams said.

Right now, the wrecked car is in the shop waiting on parts. Another car has been ordered since the spring and isn’t expected to be in until late August or early September.

Williams is using the old Ford Crown Victoria, which he says hasn’t been ideal.

“It’s horrible, I mean, just because it’s uncomfortable. It’s old. The sirens are down right now. The sirens aren’t working,” he added. “I did have a problem with it running hot, you know, staying charged. It’ll quit, and we even had to put a couple of batteries on it. I want to say that’s probably my second battery now.”

Williams says officers from other agencies stepped in during their time of need.

“We’re definitely grateful and thankful for Poinsett County helping us out. Also, Chief Ford over there in Marked Tree. That’s who we dispatched in the evening time,” he said. “We’re one big team around here. We have to make sure we have each other’s backs.”

Williams was an officer for seven years in West Memphis, Ark.

He came to Tyronza in November.

He’s not used to a shortage like this but says Mayor Charles Glover is doing all he can to make sure he gets back on the road.

“The mayor he’s been, you know, I can’t complain about him at all. He backs me 100 percent. He’s definitely been trying to get me a vehicle,” he explained.

Mayor Glover says hopefully, by next week, the department will have two operational vehicles, and they’re crossing their fingers the ordered car will be in by next month.

The city is also looking to fill a part-time officer position.

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