Armed task force to patrol streets in Paragould, AR


PPD Chief Todd Stovall said armed officers in SWAT gear would soon be patrolling city streets in high crime areas, going as far as asking people walking down the street for identification and a reason for their presence.

Paragould Mayor Mike Gaskill announced that local police are considering an armed task force to patrol streets in Paragould, Arkansas.
Paragould Daily Press reported:

In response to a recent increase in crime, Paragould Mayor Mike Gaskill and Police Chief Todd Stovall offered residents at a town hall meeting Thursday night at West View Baptist Church what could be considered an extreme solution — armed officers patrolling the streets on foot.

Stovall told the group of almost 40 residents that beginning in 2013, the department would deploy a new street crimes unit to high crime areas on foot to take back the streets.

“[Police are] going to be in SWAT gear and have AR-15s around their neck,” Stovall said. “If you’re out walking, we’re going to stop you, ask why you’re out walking, check for your ID.”

Stovall said while some people may be offended by the actions of his department, they should not be.

“We’re going to do it to everybody,” he said. “Criminals don’t like being talked to.”

Gaskill backed Stovall’s proposed actions during Thursday’s town hall.

“They may not be doing anything but walking their dog,” he said. “But they’re going to have to prove it.”

Stovall said the foot patrols would begin on the east side of town and would eventually snake into the Pecan Grove area.

Hat Tip Sandi

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  • 10ksnooker

    Don’t they do this sort of thing in all turd world country’s Obama is fine with this crap.

  • gastorgrab

    Stovall said while some people may be offended by the actions of his department, they should not be.

    “We’re going to do it to everybody,” he said.

    Is it OK if I sock you in the eye as long as I promise to sock everyone in the eye?

  • JKB

    Little short on Constitutional law, aren’t they?

    Best they teach these jackboots to lie. Stopping without probable cause is not allowed. Stopping someone “moving furtively” is, or “being unnaturally disinterested in the police presence” is as well, when properly articulated.

  • Blacque Jacques Shellacque

    “[Police are] going to be in SWAT gear and have AR-15s around their neck,” Stovall said. “If you’re out walking, we’re going to stop you, ask why you’re out walking, check for your ID.”

    Going overboard.

    If this “solution” was offered up to the residents, the appropriate response is to reject it.

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  • Stella Baskomb

    All proceeding as Glenn Beck predicted a couple of years ago.

  • great unknown

    This will last until somebody knowledgeable points out how quickly this can get expensive when all the section 1983 federal lawsuits are filed.

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  • thebronze

    I’d tell them to go p*ss up a rope and continue walking.

  • Joe College

    They ought to raid the psychiatrists’ offices first and find out who they have on on psycho-inducing meds.

  • Repubtallygirl

    Cue outrage from the ACLU in …….

  • Time

    Wait for it. You will see Os uniformed task force assigned in every city, town, corner, neighborhood across this nation. Hold onto your seats people this is getting crazier by the day. If you think you seen it all, wait, you seen nothing yet. Unless people start to stand up to this, you will be overrun by the very people you employ. You will be told where you can walk, when you can walk, what side of the street you can walk on and what time you must go home. If this is the nation you care to live under and what your sweat is willing to pay for then so be it. But, this is NOT the nation, given birth by the founding fathers. They saw a vision of freedom not enslavement, dictatorship. You have traded your very rights of freedom for false sense of security. May the lord watch over you and yours and bless you during this most unpredictable time of great unknown…Peace !!!!!

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  • Personally I think police units such as SWAT teams armed and trained along military lines violates the posse comitatus prohibition. Ever notice a SWAT raid is no different from a military raid beginning with the no knock entry? For some heavily armed criminals such as fugitive murderers and escaped convicts this is justified but it has become too common, as in crime ridden areas and domestic disturbances which do not require a military type response. It’s like using a hammer on a fly.

  • Patty

    OT

    Attorney General Secretly Granted Gov. Ability to Develop and Store Dossiers on Innocent Americans

    In a secret government agreement granted without approval or debate from lawmakers, the U.S. attorney general recently gave the National Counterterrorism Center sweeping new powers to store dossiers on U.S. citizens, even if they are not suspected of a crime, according to a news report.

    Earlier this year, Attorney General Eric Holder granted the center the ability to copy entire government databases holding information on flight records, casino-employee lists, the names of Americans hosting foreign-exchange students and other data, and to store it for up to five years, even without suspicion that someone in the database has committed a crime, according to the Wall Street Journal, which broke the story.

    Whereas previously the law prohibited the center from storing data compilations on U.S. citizens unless they were suspected of terrorist activity or were relevant to an ongoing terrorism investigation, the new powers give the center the ability to not only collect and store vast databases of information but also to trawl through and analyze it for suspicious patterns of behavior in order to uncover activity that could launch an investigation.

    The changes granted by Holder would also allow databases containing information about U.S. citizens to be shared with foreign governments for their own analysis.

    [………………..]

    http://patdollard.com/2012/12/attorney-general-secretly-granted-gov-ability-to-develop-and-store-dossiers-on-innocent-americans/

  • airon-later

    This is the choice of Paragould Mayor Mike Gaskill and police chief Todd Stovall and NOT the Obama administration. This is also nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction that will ultimately lead to increased police brutality and potentially the loss of innocent life at the hands of some trigger-happy police “cowboy”.

  • Insufficiently Sensitive

    Yeah, that’s the way the New Black Panthers of Philadelphia provide ‘security’ for their elections offices. You sure it’s a good idea?

  • Robodog7

    # 16
    airon-later commented:

    “This is the choice of Paragould Mayor Mike Gaskill and police chief Todd Stovall and NOT the Obama administration.”

    We will see how long it lasts, If Sherriff Joe Arpaio did this, Eric Holder would file suit within days. If this goes forward, then we will know it has the blessings of “Obama the Tyrrant”.

  • Shawn

    Sorry chief this not a police state. people have rights and you can’t just decide to violate them. do a better job of policing your city and it won’t have to come to this.

  • sablegsd

    Confiscating the guns of the citizens will be the next move For our own safety. NOT! If these regressive commicrats want to live in a full blown military state in which the citizens have no rights, hie your stupid asses to a country that’s already like that. And leave us the fluke alone.

  • Arkansas resident

    This is a little town I mean less than 10000 kinda spread out 10 mins from Jonesboro. I can’t figure out what the big crime spree is? Now our sheriff has removed beds from his jail grounded the helicopter and the lake patrols are also in the wind we have county wide 2 deputies. He is in the red 15 mil. The voters here said no to more money for his efforts and now they are crying fow. He needs to come out and tell my neighbors to buy a gun and get training. So a ity bity town has swat on the steets and we have ourselves. I take myself anyday… Oh and my big dogs…ha

  • DavidD

    “Show us your papers.”

  • RoyBoy

    This is no different than what Rudy did in New York City. More cops out on the streets reduced crime significantly. People are making more of this than needed. You will find that some cities have been doing this for years. Ever been to New Orleans during Mardi Gras? Doesn’t matter if its a small town or not. Reducing crime is always a good thing.

  • dwdude

    are illegals going to be stopped and arrested if they can’t show their papers?

  • Liberty4Ever

    Unless of course you are here illegally from Mexico and then they will just give you the directions to the Dream Amnesty center

  • You dont need to know

    Well it would seem at least some districts are making the shift from “soft” marshal law with invasive surveillance and lack of due process to a full fledged police state. I’m interested to see how this plays out.

  • jony101

    I got no problem with arm police patrolling outside of schools but this is overkill. The criminals will just stay indoors, till it blows over.
    Maybe they need to keep the prisioners “locked up” instead of giving them early release etc. That make more sense to me.

  • Tabby

    Wow. Welcome to Nazi Germany!

  • amr

    But, but, but will they have photo ID!!? Seriously, armed officers used to patrol streets in every American town then we put them in patrol cars and the police and citizens “lost” contact.. The difference now is the body armor and rifles. Maybe it is about time the neighborhoods meet and become familiar with the police officers that patrol their neighborhoods.

  • John Smothe

    This is a state run by Limited Government christian conservatives not liberals. This who republicans are inspired by- jackbooted nazi thugs and their policies. This is conservative America in action. You lunatics on the right better see what you are bringing to this country with your religious fascism.

  • notsofast

    http://paragouldpolice.org/press_view.php?id=80

    12/16/2012

    “Armed Patrol” Clarifications

    Recently, an article was written by the Paragould Daily Press regarding our Street Crimes Unit. Following the article’s appearance, several questions and concerns have arisen from our citizens regarding the tactics and methods in which the unit would be operating under. At this time, we want to clarify the questions and concerns that are currently circulating in the community.

    First, let’s look at the purpose of the Street Crimes Unit. The purpose of this unit is to increase police presence in high crime rate areas of the city. These areas are identified by examining reports generated from calls for service, and also from citizens who call the Police Department or City Hall with safety concerns in their neighborhoods. Once an area has been identified as a high crime neighborhood, the select group of officers will saturate the area in an attempt to curb the criminal behavior that is plaguing that particular neighborhood. Officers will accomplish this in a variety of different methods. Officers will be working to identify residents in the affected area so that we can better serve our affected neighborhoods. Most often, this identification process will be nothing more than making contact with a subject, handing them a business card, and asking if they live in the area and if there’s anything we can do for them. During hours in which crime seems to be more prevalent (i.e. between the hours of 11pm and 5 am), our process will become more stringent. We will be asking for picture identification. We will be ascertaining where the subject lives and what they are doing in the area. We will be keeping a record of those we contact. The record keeping is two-fold: First, we want to try to keep from over-lapping making contact with the same people multiple times. Once we know where people live, or that they always walk in that particular neighborhood, then we’ll not need to repeat that contact. We will not be harassing citizens. Secondly, by documenting those of the criminal element, we have a record of that contact and where/when it occurred. An example of where this will be helpful is if a crime (i.e. burglary, breaking or entering) is reported the next morning. We then have a list of “go-to” suspects to question regarding that incident or incidents.

    Another issue that seems to be of concern is the mention of Street Crimes Unit officers carrying AR-15 rifles with them during these patrols. To give a little background information, several of our patrol officers already carry AR-15 rifles in their patrol vehicles. The AR-15 and police work is nothing new. Our Street Crimes Unit will not be wearing them constantly. That would be impractical. As we have stated in our meetings, our main purpose of mentioning this was to prepare our residents in the event that they saw an officer armed with one. When our officers deploy into areas where there is the potential for contacting several subjects in a high-crime area, that is when the potential deployment of AR-15’s will occur.

    Many citizens, through various media outlets, have expressed a concern about the police “violating rights” or “violating the Constitution”. We have to abide by the same rules, regulations, and laws that our citizens do. We are not out to violate anyone’s rights. Once we have an area that shows a high crime rate or a high call volume, it is our duty and obligation to find out why this is occurring and what we can do to prevent the trend from continuing. Therefore, identifying subjects in those problem areas help us to solve crimes, and hopefully to prevent future crimes.

    In closing, the purpose of the Town Hall meetings is to inform you, the citizen, of a potential solution to combat the increase of crimes, both property related and violent. Understand, crime is fluid and ever-changing. We as law enforcement are forced to change with it. We are making an effort to educate our citizens via the Town Hall meetings about crime statistics in each area of town, crime prevention tips, and the Street Crimes Unit. At each meeting, we welcome questions and/or suggestions. Unfortunately, only 100 residents have taken advantage of the two opportunities we have given thus far. Our hope is for you to attend one of the remaining two meetings this week to hear our plans and so that we may get your input.

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  • Gregor

    #23 December 17, 2012 at 7:48 pm
    RoyBoy commented:

    Having “more cops on the street” and “asking every person to identify themselves and prove they belong” is a huge difference, but I suspect you’re well aware of this already. One is perfectly legal, and the other is completely unconstitutional. You’re either stupid, or a dishonest liberal hack who will argue anything and everything no matter how stupid it makes you look.

    #31 December 18, 2012 at 4:32 pm
    notsofast commented:

    There are no “clarifications” in that letter, except to confirm their plans to violate the Constitutional rights of their entire town. The letter states that they are “not out to violate anyone’s rights” but proceeds in detail to list plans that are highly illegal per the Constitution.

    Handing me a business card and explaining to me what THEY are doing there is one thing. Ordering me to present my identification, requiring me to prove I belong on the public streets of my own town, and keeping records of that conversation are all completely different things.

    I suspect the U.S. Supreme Court will point this out to them eventually and it’s going to be an extremely expensive lesson.