HASKELL, Ark. – During the Haskell City Council’s first meeting of the year, multiple police officers walked out and resigned over a fight for funding.
In the meeting, police officers demanded: higher pay, new patrol cars, and new life-saving equipment. Mayor Clyde Crookham, who was appointed to the position 10 days ago, said he would take it under advisement.
Lieutenant Jimmy Foreman asked if anything would be done during the meeting and the mayor’s response was no. Shortly after the officers quit.
“The city does not have an unlimited financial bank to afford equipment,” Crookham said.
The walkout surprised those who live in the city, like Suzanne Felkins.
“It’s a new mayor. I don’t feel like they really even gave him a chance,” Felkins said.
The city’s police department said on Facebook that they only have three remaining officers left and they would be patrolling. While receiving assistance from the county as well until they’re fully staffed.
Sarah Bass works in Haskell, she said officers should have had more help earlier.
“I think they should have had a little bit more help in the first place. If Haskell can’t afford to help them maybe another county can afford a little bit more to help them,” Bass said.
Bass hopes the problem gets worked out soon because of her line of work.
“I work at a convenience store. What’s the first place people want to hit is a convenience store,” Bass said.
She also said, because of her work, she has been able to become close with some of the officers who walked and hopes the problem gets resolved soon.
“I hope that my cop friends get to come back to work,” Bass said.
Felkins believes the mayor will be able to get through this unexpected meeting.
“I think he will be stronger for it and I hope they get new police,” Felkins said.