Arkansas State Police, special prosecutor to investigate sale of police gun by Hoxie Police chief

Published: Aug. 23, 2022 at 4:08 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 23, 2022 at 4:42 PM CDT
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HOXIE, Ark. (KAIT) – Arkansas State Police and a special prosecutor have launched an investigation into the Hoxie police chief after it was revealed he sold a department-owned gun to a pawn shop, according to the city’s mayor.

According to Hoxie Mayor Dennis Coggins, the city attorney, Nancy Hall, requested the investigation into the sale in mid-August, after chief Glen Smith was placed on paid leave on Wednesday, Aug 3. Coggins said Smith was put back on duty on Monday, Aug. 22, despite the ongoing investigation.

Coggins said he put Smith back on duty because he did not know how long the investigation would take, and he did not want to waste the money of taxpayers. When asked why the chief was not placed on unpaid leave during the investigation, Coggins said he did not want “to have pay money back” if Smith was to not be found of any wrongdoing.

Hall told Region 8 News in early August that her office received a tip that Smith sold a department gun to a pawn shop and immediately began investigating.

According to Hall, the gun is back in the possession of the city and the case has been turned over to the prosecutor’s office, which declined to comment or confirm an investigation. Coggins confirmed that the gun is “in the back of the patrol car” when asked where the gun was.

Arkansas State Police said, “an agent assigned to the Special Investigation Unit of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division has an active case open pertaining to an allegation that a shotgun purchased by the City of Hoxie was possibly resold to a private vendor without authorization.”

Multiple city council members told Region 8 News on Aug. 23 that they had not been made aware of the chief being placed back on duty.