Two small Faulkner County towns lost their police chiefs last week.
During an executive session at the April 11 Damascus City Council meeting, the council voted to restructure the city’s police department by removing the police chief position.
On April 15, Bobby Lockard resigned from his position as Guy police chief.
Damascus City Attorney Beau Wilcox said the council approved reorganizing the Damascus Police Department under Arkansas Code § 14-52-101, which gives the city council power to establish a police department and restructure it "under the general superintendence of the mayor."
Wilcox said that in restructuring the police department, aldermen "effectively removed" the police chief’s position, which was formerly held by Rick Perry.
"I left the meeting that evening early with the onset of the flu and learned of the decision after the meeting the following day," Wilcox said in an email statement. "To my knowledge, Chief Perry was apprised of the elimination of his position that evening and then by letter thereafter but I have no comment on the decision and would refer any questions to Mayor L.B. Pavatt at City Hall."
Following Lockard’s resignation the Guy City Council held an emergency meeting Wednesday night to discuss its next move.
Aldermen voted to hire a full-time and part-time police officer for the city.
The city currently has one part-time officer to cover patrols since Lockard’s resignation.
Guy Mayor Sam Higdon told the Log Cabin Democrat on Thursday that the city does not have a set time frame to appoint a new chief at this point and wants to view its options once the two open positions are filled.
"We’ll just play that by ear," he said, referring to appointing a new chief.