Pleasant Plains gets first police department

Published: May. 30, 2023 at 6:24 PM CDT
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PLEASANT PLAINS, Ark. (KAIT) - Residents in one Independence County town can sigh relief after getting a police department for the first time.

Tanya Fraser, a Pleasant Plains community member, says living in a town without police can be difficult.

“There was nobody here, it’s a long way off, so it would take a little while, and if criminals were there, they weren’t going to be there when police got here,” she said.

The Pleasant Plains city council voted to add a police department in December 2022.

On March 9, this first officer went hit the streets.

Pleasant Plains Mayor Kenneth Burns said the city depended on the Independence County Sheriff’s Office for years; they also had a Marshall for some time. But they also relied on themselves.

“We had a neighborhood watch program for several years, and after COVID, we did not have as many members as we did,” he said.

The city hired two full-time police officers for the town with help from surrounding departments.

“The Batesville Police has just bent over backward to help us also by donating us two cars and fully equipped, which is a lot of money and equipment,” he explained.

Burns said safety was his main concern in bringing a police department, but that wasn’t the only thing he was looking at.

“We’re expecting growth and having a police department will help people here also knowing that they’ve got protection,” he said.

Seeing an officer in town for the last couple of months has already made a change for the community.

“It’s nice having somebody close, where they care about our community ‘cause that’s what’s they’re doing. They’re taking care of us,” said Fraiser.

The city looks to add reserve officers and a third police officer in the future.