Flippin Police

Department

 

P.O. Box 40 / 239 E. Main St.

Flippin, AR 72634

(870) 453 - 8888

Letter from the Chief

April, 2012

 

 

 

This quarter I would like to introduce the structure of the Flippin Police Department. In future quarterly letters I will discuss questions and comments throughout the quarter, but I feel it is to the advantage of the Department for the public to understand what we do and possibly why we do the things we do. This letter will be longer than ones to come in the future but I feel it is necessary and may answer some questions or concerns about the number of officers in the Department and what each of them are responsible for.

 

First of all the Department is made up of six full time police officers. A Chief, an Assistant Chief, a Patrol Sergeant, two Patrolman, and a School Resource Officer. The Department also has a part time K-9 Officer. The Department also has 8 other part time/reserve officers. These officers donate on average 100 hours of their time a month.  They are utilized to cover the full time officer’s shifts when they are in training or taking vacation time. When these officers volunteer they may be utilized for extra patrol, assist with safety checkpoints and criminal interdictions, and assist with traffic control during festivals and parades.

 

 The Chief handles the narcotics investigations and is also assigned to the 14th Judicial Drug Task Force which covers Newton, Boone, Marion, and Baxter Counties. This just means that this position sometimes goes to these counties and assists with narcotics investigations. Along with that the Task Force provides the Flippin Police Department with the support of other officers assigned to the Task Force throughout the District for assistance with our narcotics investigations. The position of Chief includes conducting controlled buys, running surveillance, managing confidential informants, and managing a Drug Buy Fund. It is important to understand that even though many narcotics investigations begin in Flippin with a controlled buy or a traffic stop within the city limits, to conduct a thorough and complete investigation, many times the narcotics officers end up at the suspects residence located outside of the city limits. The Chief also assists with all other investigations and oversees the general operation of the Department. Currently, the Chief is the only position that is not assigned a schedule. Typically, the Chief reports for duty at 8:00 AM Monday to Friday. The Chief is also responsible for registering sex offenders. The Chief assists the Assistant Chief with other criminal investigations, the Sergeant with cyber crimes investigations, and provides advice and instruction regarding patrol and school resource officer job duties. The Chief maintains the budget and ensures the Department is operating within the allotted budget. The Chief is a Certified Law Enforcement Instructor and conducts training. The Chief handles administrative type duties and completes narcotics reports during the day and adjusts his schedule for whatever narcotics investigations he may be conducting at night.

 

The Assistant Chief is responsible for any criminal investigations other than narcotics. The Assistant Chief is also assigned to the patrol schedule. The Assistant Chief works a scheduled patrol shift conducting routine patrol duties such as enforcing traffic laws, responding to calls for service, and conducting building checks. The Assistant Chief assists the Chief with the administration of the Department. The Assistant Chief is also responsible for managing the District Court schedule providing recommendations to the Prosecutor and Judge regarding Defendants with pending charges. The Assistant Chief is a Certified Law Enforcement Instructor and a Firearms Instructor and conducts training. Much like narcotics investigations sometimes the Assistant Chief works outside of the city limits conducting criminal investigations such as assaults, threats, and thefts. The Assistant Chief works hand in hand with the Chief completing administrative duties and providing advice and instruction to other officers.

 

The Sergeant is also assigned to a patrol shift. The Sergeant conducts routine patrol duties. The Sergeant is responsible for equipment maintenance and ensures that all police units, weapons, and electronic equipment is maintained on schedule and operates properly. The Sergeant makes a schedule for work for all officers each month and adjusts the schedule each month based on officers being gone to training or on leave. The Sergeant also conducts Cyber Crimes Investigations. This requires the Sergeant to work hours while off duty chatting with child sexual predators on the Internet. The Sergeant is responsible for all duties associated with these investigations.

 

The two patrolman are responsible for the same type of duties. Each of them enforce traffic laws, respond to calls for service, and conduct property checks. Many times these two patrolman are the beginning of many investigations in the Department. They are often the first person that responds to a crime or crime scene. They must do their jobs thoroughly to ensure an investigation can be completed successfully. They work on a rotating schedule at night. The patrolman also assist the ranking officers with their investigations. Also, one of these patrolman set up the website and assists the Department with computer related issues. Even though at description the duties of a patrolman seem simple, they are the key to a successful Department.

 

The School Resource Officer is assigned full time to the Flippin Public Schools. This officer conducts training for students regarding drugs, bullying, life skills, appropriate relationships, and other student related issues. This officer spends their day at the school and interacts with students and administrative staff at the school. This position works with Juvenile Services and the Department of Human Services to ensure and promote the health and safety of children. In the summer when school is out this position will enforce city ordinances with a focus on unsightly properties. This position in the past was used as a criminal investigator. In October of 2011 the Department was restructured to create this position as I felt the community, Department, and School would benefit more from a School Resource Officer.

 

The K-9 Officer works part time. This Officer is responsible for upkeep of the Departments K-9, Dax. The Officer and Dax are certified in narcotics sniffing and tracking. The Officer is responsible for up keep of the K-9 and is subject to call out at anytime for a request for service. The K-9 is utilized in routine traffic stops when officers begin getting indicators of narcotics. Officers can ask for consent to search a vehicle when they can articulate certain indicators of narcotics. However, if the suspect denies the officer consent they are unable to search the vehicle unless they observed something illegal in plain view. In these instances, an officer can call for the K-9. The K-9 can be “ran” around any vehicle. If the K-9 alerts on the vehicle indicating the presence of narcotics then by state law officers may detain the vehicle and search it. As common sense would tell you those traveling with narcotics are not likely to give consent to search. The K-9 helps us identify and prosecute these suspects. The K-9 is also utilized during safety checkpoints and criminal interdiction saturation efforts. The K-9 is also used during drug related search warrants. The K-9 can normally search an area that would take three officers an hour in less than ten minutes. Also those involved in narcotics go to extreme measures to hide any product on hand. On more than one occasion the K-9 has pin pointed an area of a vehicle or residence that had previously been searched and after searching behind the K-9 alert officers located narcotics.

 

Several times a year the K-9 is ran through the schools to check for narcotics. This is important not from a criminal aspect, but instead to identify those kids who may be experimenting with controlled substances and hopefully get them help they need before they become addicts.

 

The K-9 is also used to locate missing persons or suspects who flee. The tracking certification has trained the K-9 to track human scent. Fortunately in the recent past we have not been notified of children missing. However, if this situation arises the K-9 would be able to pick up a scent from the last location the child was seen and track the child. The K-9 has been successfully deployed on numerous situations when a suspect fled on foot, the K-9 was able to locate the suspect.

 

The Flippin Police Department, like many small Departments in the area, requires all of the officers to be very versatile. Any officer, including the part time and reserve officers, may assist with a serious felony investigation while the ranking officers may assist with something as routine as a noise compliant. The Department is made up of a staff that dedicates their lives to serving and protecting the community. They spend many hours away from their families and put their lives on hold to do their job. I am very proud to say I am the Chief of the Flippin Police Department.

 

 

 

Dusty Smith