City of Egypt rebuilding police department

Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 10:34 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2023 at 10:41 PM CST
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EGYPT, Ark. (KAIT) - The city of Egypt is officially taking steps to re-establish its police department.

During its Oct. 10 meeting, the council updated policies, instituted a budget, and provided funding for the department.

City Recorder and Treasurer Annette Upton said the new administration has worked since the beginning of the year to bring back the department.

“We just want a safe environment for the community,” she said. “Slow down traffic. We’ve had some small theft problems, you know, so we just want that presence to be known.”

She said re-establishing the police department is a chief priority and they would start small.

“A part-time police chief and a patrol officer. So, it’s not going to be a huge department,” she said.

Currently, the city relies on the sheriff’s office for protection.

Resident Cheryl Lingo said the response times can be from 15 to 20 minutes, which is a concern when a dangerous crime happens.

She said someone broke into her friend’s home. While the woman and her daughter hid from the intruder, they called 911.

“All that 911 could say to her was, ‘Honey, they’ll be there in about 15 to 20 minutes.’ And, of course, the intruder was no longer there, but he was rattling doorknobs and everything trying to get in that house with her and her young daughter,” Lingo said.

She said that the majority of crimes that happen in the city are petty thefts and speeding.

Since the city doesn’t have sidewalks and her home is on Highway 91, she worries when cars and trucks speed by because her grandchildren play outside.

“Forget trying to ride on bikes. One of my granddaughters tries to rollerblade on the street, but that’s only if we know it’s not during a time when cars and things are going to go by,” she said.

Despite a working relationship with the Craighead County Sheriff’s Office, Upton said the city is ready to move forward with its plans.

“The next step is to get our policies in place and getting a budget set up for the police department,” Upton said.

If everything goes according to plan, she hopes the city will have a police department in place by the Spring of 2024.