Residents hold meeting concerning police chief selling gun

Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 11:28 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 9, 2022 at 2:48 PM CDT
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HOXIE, Ark. (KAIT) - Community members came together Thursday night to talk about how the city is handling the police chief selling a gun to a pawn shop in a nearby city.

On Wednesday, Aug. 3, Hoxie Police Chief Glen Smith was placed on leave after the city got a tip about Smith selling a department gun to a pawn shop.

There were just a little over 20 people at the meeting on Aug. 8, but the city council or the mayor did not call the meeting.

In fact, the mayor was not there. and only two city council members were present at the meeting.

During the meeting, resident Greg Ditto explained how he became aware of the sold gun and alerted law enforcement.

He said the transaction dates back to June 2021, when he helped Smith find a tactical shotgun to place in police vehicles.

The gun was purchased at a pawn shop in Pocahontas during that time, while the same gun was sold to a different pawn shop in Walnut Ridge a few months later, but Ditto did not find out that information until recently.

According to Ditto, on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, he saw the gun he said he helped Smith choose for the department at the pawnshop in Walnut Ridge.

“I noticed this same shotgun sitting on a rack in a pawn shop in Walnut Ridge. So, I asked the individual could you tell me where you got that shotgun. He opened up his register, and it said Junior Glen Smith,” he recalled.

Ditto said he was at the pawnshop to find parts for yard equipment, adding if he had not noticed the gun, it may have still been sitting on the shelves.

Residents at the meeting had questions about where the gun is now.

The city council members in attendance could not give a definite answer because they did not know.

According to the Hoxie city attorney and mayor, the gun is back in the city’s possession.

Residents were advised to attend the next city council meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 13.

Smith was put back on duty on Monday, Aug. 22.

correction: In the reporter's original story, we identified Greg Ditto as the Hoxie fire chief. We regret the error.