Fort Smith police shift focus to crime deterrence


As floodwaters rapidly recede, the Fort Smith Police Department’s mission in flood-affected areas will be changing. 

With floodwaters inundating neighborhoods, the department focused on getting residents to safety and preventing those without a need from entering flooded areas. 

As the water recedes, police say the mission will change to one of crime deterrence, prevention of theft, and the safety of residents returning to their homes and volunteers cleaning up. 

The Fort Smith Police Department says it will remain highly visible in flooded neighborhoods, aggressively patrolling for criminals while “preserving the constitutional rights of citizens to move about freely.” 

Beginning Monday, June 3, static observation posts will be placed at the following locations:

  1. South 74th and Riverlyn Drive
  2. Horan and South 87th Drive
  3. South 91st and Houston
  4. Meandering Way and Houston
  5. Dallas and South 91st

Officers at these posts will be monitoring and making note of people entering the affected areas.

Descriptions of suspicious person or vehicles will be radioed to mobile patrols so their activities can be closely monitored.

Contractors and volunteers are encouraged to check in with the officers at these points to reduce the need for police calls regarding their activities. 

Officers will take a zero-tolerance approach to all observed traffic and criminal violations in an effort to discourage sightseers. 

Police say volunteers should be marked clearly with lanyards provided by the United Way, and residents should still have the identifications given by FSPD earlier this week.

These measures will assist officers in readily identifying those with legitimate purposes in the flood zones.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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