BenCo Sheriff’s Office Moving Forward

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Benton County Sheriff’s Office moving forward with new policies after a year of turmoil.

Since taking over in April, Sheriff Meyer Gilbert has made efforts to improve the day-to-day operations with in the department.
He said those changes now have the office running smoothly, and is restoring trust in Benton County.

 “Sheriff Gilbert, was concerned about it, he was aware of some of the issues and he immediately, pledged to take care of some of the concerns that we had,” Rogers Mayor Greg Hines said.

Sheriff Gilbert’s first step? Re-establishing communication lines with other departments.

 “We have excellent relationships with all of our agencies. We’ve totally rebuilt those relationships, and I think they’re moving forward wonderfully,” Gilbert said.  

He said step two was implementing new polices to keep his deputies in line.

“We’ve put into place pursuit policies, we’ve put into place conduct policies that instruct our deputies on how to act and how to govern themselves,” The Sheriff said.  

Sheriff Gilbert said that structure was crucial to putting the recklessness of the department’s operations to a halt.

“Any operation that’s run by police, the citizens should be safe in every way,”  Rogers resident Jacki Power said.

All of these changes catalyzed by the turmoil within the Sheriff’s Office under former Sheriff Kelly Cradduck.
Under his administration, there were reports of police chases through neighborhoods at dangerous speeds, even a drug bust in a Walmart parking lot that went awry.

In April, Bentonville and Rogers city and law enforcement leaders sent a four-page letter to the Quorum Court voicing their concerns.

 “That was completely avoidable in a public setting like that, and that it was reckless,” Mayor Hines said.  

The letter served as a road map for Sheriff Gilbert.

 “You have to have steady leadership,” Hines said.  

Over the last eight months, Gilbert said the department has done a one-eighty.

 “They have been strictly supervised by the supervisor on duty, and done in the way that they should be done and carried out without any kind of reckless endangerment to the public,” The Sheriff said.  

And he said one of the most important relationships to rebuild was with the community the department vows to protect and serve.

“We get thank you letters, we get phone calls, emails and Facebook, and we appreciate those, the public really lets us know that they appreciate us,” Gilbert said.

 “Sheriff Gilbert has righted the ship. He has made remarkable changes,” Mayor Hines said.

And Gilbert said he looks forward to working with Sheriff-Elect Shawn Holloway to keep the department on the right track.

“We’ve been through a lot, the employees have been through a lot. We’re just thankful there’s not going to be any big changes in the command staff and the way the Sheriff’s Department is operated, it should be a seamless transition for our employees and our citizens,” he said.

Sheriff Gilbert will remain a part of the Sheriff’s Office after Sheriff-Elect Shawn Holloway takes the oath in January.
Gilbert will swap titles with Holloway and become the Chief Deputy.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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