It is the concern of the FOP that, given the current pandemic crisis, the early release of inmates may subject them to more risks and less stability than if they had remained incarcerated – as a result, the likelihood of recidivism increases.
While our neighbors and others can take recommended precautions to stay healthy law enforcement is not afforded that option. Public safety and local police agencies are an essential part of our everyday life that communities rely upon.
In the coming weeks, the public will be looking to POLICE OFFICERS for reassurance and calm. We will be the very real face of the government’s response to this pandemic, so be cognizant of our role in the community at this time. I have no doubt our members will rise to the occasion and serve with honor and distinction.
As to the current matter, Sheriff Hatcher’s statement dated 2/28/2020 states;
“As the Sheriff, I am ultimately responsible for everything that happens within the organization and I will take ownership for our current circumstance. I have had a long history of having the support of my staff, peers and community.
Sheriff Hatcher's recent actions with respect to the degrading quality of work environment in Benton County Sheriff’s Office and other areas has only served to decrease the trust of the members of law enforcement and the members of the community. Diminishing public trust does not assist in accomplishing our overall shared goals of public safety.