The Faulkner County Quorum court met Tuesday at 4 p.m. at the Faulkner County courthouse to discuss the jail system, COVID-19 and the census.

The members of the court were spread out around the room, and the meeting was live streamed for the public to view.

Faulkner County Sheriff Tim Ryals said there was a reduction in the amount of people in the Faulkner County jail system due to COVID-19. He also said the system took in 163 inmates and released 233 inmates in April.

Ryals discussed the dangers that can occur if someone in jail gets the virus.

“My theory in looking at this is to prevent [the virus] from coming into [the jail system] to begin with,” Ryals said.

He said the virus can be prevented from entering the jails through the police giving more citations and by putting fewer non-violent criminals in jail.

Ryals said that when the virus eases up, he thinks the amount of people in the jail system will return to the level it was at four to five months ago.

The quorum court passed Faulkner County Court Resolution 20-5, which appointed Conway resident Velda Leuders to the Faulkner County Equalization board. Leuders is a realtor with Coldwell Banker RPM Group, and she will fill the board position in June.

County Administrator Tom Anderson gave a report on how COVID-19 has impacted the county. He said there have been three deaths due to COVID-19 and 11 active COVID-19 cases in Faulkner County. Anderson also said 2,500 COVID-19 tests were completed in the county.

“Our county health department here has been open every day,” County Judge James Baker said, adding the department started testing for the virus May 11.

The census was also discussed during the meeting.

“[The census] seems like a never-ending process, but we’re seeing some results,” Baker said. He also said Faulkner county is leading the state of Arkansas in filling out the census and that smaller cities in the state are running behind in filling out the census.

Baker said he knows the county grew a great deal in the past 10 years and he hopes an accurate representation of the population growth is shown through the census.

A video recording of the meeting can be found on the Faulkner County Arkansas YouTube channel.

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