UPDATE: Centerton Fire Department Battalion Chief Jordan Thompson was released from the Benton County Detention Center on bond Thursday, two days after he was arrested on suspicion of rape.
The judge set a $75,000 bond.
Centerton Fire Battalion Chief Jordan Thompson, 34, is facing one count of felony rape according to Benton County jail records.
KNWA spoke with people in the city who said that they have mixed feelings about Tuesday night’s arrest of Thompson, while many at the Fire Department say they are taking this issue seriously.
“Absolutely it was a shock, a shock to everyone,” said Centerton Fire Department Chief Dalton Bush.
Bush said his crew is going about its routine as normal even under abnormal circumstances.
“Took us all by surprise. Obviously this is a very serious situation,” Chief Bush said.
Many people who live in Centerton say they are shocked, but not caught off guard.
“More of the authorities being in the wrong than the citizens are, and so the citizens are being forced to walk away from the city,” said Centerton resident Andrew Woodruff.
Chief Bush said the city is aware of the situation and has taken the necessary measures.
“I did speak with the Mayor last night when I heard the news to let him know. He will need to be on administrative leave until we learn more and the system takes its courses and we see where to go to from there, ” Chief Bush said.
For many people like Centerton resident Alicia Pierce, a situation like this brings back hurtful memories. She went through a months-long court battle after she was raped by a former Little Flock police officer in 2002. That officer, Ian Smith, was convicted of multiple counts of rape and sentenced to over twenty years in prison.
“Whether he is innocent or guilty, that is up to the courts to decide but it’s very saddening to see that happen close to home and so close to your house, but it has happened to me,” Pierce said.
For Pierce, she said it’s no surprise to her that something like this could happen.
“Does it happen more with people who think they are above the law? Yes, I think it does,” Pierce said.
For now, those at the fire department said whatever the outcome, this isn’t going to get in the way of their duty.
“We’re going to keep serving the community moving forward and doing what we have been doing,” Chief Bush said.
Thompson will continue to stay on administrative leave as the Benton County Sheriff’s Office moves forward with its investigation. He is booked into the Benton County Jail with no bond listed.