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SCSO DEPUTIES ADD COLOR TO FUNDRAISER RACE

BENTON, AR – Saline County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) deputies came out in force to help the East End Intermediate School with their first annual color run.

Over 100 runners completed the 3-kilometer course, which was lined with assorted “color stations” staffed by deputies, teachers and other volunteers.  The color run will be a yearly fundraiser to help pay for programs and initiatives held at the East End Intermediate School.

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Click It or Ticket Campaign Starts May 20

BENTON, AR – As the Memorial Day holiday approaches, the Saline County Sheriff’s Office is reminding all drivers of the importance of seat belt use. This annual campaign is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s national Click It or Ticket high-visibility enforcement effort that runs from May 20 to June 2, 2019. Aimed at enforcing seat belt use to help keep families safe, the national seat belt campaign runs concurrent with the busy travel season.

“During the Click It or Ticket campaign, we plan to maximize our presence on county roads and highways in an effort to ensure our drivers are safely and correctly buckled up,” said Saline County Sheriff Rodney Wright. “Seat belt use is not only vital for the driver in surviving a crash, but for passengers as well. Buckling up is the single easiest thing you can do to reduce the likelihood of being injured.”

For this year’s Click It or Ticket seat belt mobilization effort, NHTSA is asking all states to participate in the kickoff event, Border to Border (B2B), a one-day national seat belt awareness event on May 20 that is coordinated by participating state highway safety offices and their respective law enforcement liaisons. The B2B program aims to increase law enforcement participation by coordinating highly visible seat belt enforcement and providing seat belt fact sheets for drivers at heavily traveled, highly visible state border checkpoints. 

According to NHTSA, in 2017, there were 10,076 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States. In that same year, 55 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts. That’s why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night. In Saline County, the maximum penalty for a seat belt violation is $70.

For more information on the Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.        

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UPDATE! - PUBLIC HELP NEEDED TO LOCATE RUNAWAY JUVENILE

BENTON, AR – Saline County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) detectives, in partnership with Juvenile Probation Officers, have located the previously reported runaway juvenile, Ms. Heather Lattin, and have returned her to her parents. 

Saline County Sheriff Rodney Wright would like to thank the members of the community for their efforts and information which made this possible.

SALINE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE DEPUTY HONORED WITH AWARD

BENTON, AR – Saline County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) Corporal Mike Bowden was recently honored by the Cooper-Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center for his efforts in the arrest and conviction of a child abuse suspect.

The Patrick McCruden Super Hero Award is awarded annually to a law enforcement officer who has gone above and beyond their typical duties to ensure the protection of children in their community.  Cpl. Bowden was recognized for his meticulous investigation and expert testimony that was instrumental in securing a conviction and 42-year prison sentence for a man who had raped three children.

Patrick McCruden, the namesake for the award, lead the way for the establishment of the Child Advocacy Centers within the Mercy Health network.  The Centers provide no-cost counseling, medical and support services for children who are victims of abuse or neglect.

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PUBLIC HELP NEEDED TO LOCATE RUNAWAY JUVENILE

BENTON, AR – Saline County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) deputies and detectives are asking for your help in locating a juvenile that has run away from her home. 

Heather Lattin, 15, of Paron was last seen leaving her home on foot wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with the word “California” on the front.  She was last seen at approximately 8:00 PM on Monday April 15th.  Ms. Lattin has brown hair and brown eyes.

Detectives ask that anyone with information about Ms. Lattin’s location please contact them at 501-303-5609 or call your local law enforcement agency.  Anonymous information may be given by calling 501-303-5744.  The SCSO non-emergency dispatch telephone number is 501-303-5647.

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Six-State Regional Effort: Arkansas Joins 4/20 Enforcement Effort Against Drug-Impaired Driving

Benton, AR – The Saline County Sheriff’s Office is joining with other Arkansas law enforcement officials in announcing they will conduct a Drug Impaired Driving specialized enforcement campaign throughout the state April 19 and 20.  Drive High, Get a DUI is an intensified effort to fight drug-impaired driving in correlation with the 4/20 ‘holiday.’ Similar efforts are occurring across the region in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.  Up and down the highways of these states, officers will be arresting anyone caught driving impaired. 

During the Drive High, Get a DUI effort in Arkansas, officers will intensify enforcement of the state’s drug-impaired-driving laws.  Like drunk driving, drug-impaired driving is illegal in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC.  Law enforcement will stop and arrest anyone caught driving drug-impaired.

It is never safe to drive impaired.  This not only means refraining from drunk driving, but also from drug-impaired driving.  Many people wrongly believe that driving while high won’t affect them.  It has been proven that THC – the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects – slows reaction times, impairs cognitive performance and makes it more difficult for drivers to keep a steady position in their lane.

The bottom line is this:  It doesn’t matter what term is used, if a person is high, stoned, wasted or drunk, he or she is impaired.  Driving while impaired by any substance is illegal and can be deadly to the driver and other road users.

“Impaired driving, whether it be by drugs or alcohol, is never a victimless crime.  Each year, hundreds of families across Arkansas are affected by an individual’s conscious decision to put other motorists and pedestrians in danger” said Saline County Sheriff Rodney Wright.  “The Saline County Sheriff’s Office takes this danger very seriously and will strictly enforce DWI and DUI laws in Saline County.”

Please remember:  never drive while impaired by any substance, including a new prescription drug or a higher dose of a current prescription drug.  Do not drive until you know what effect it has on your judgment, coordination, and reaction time.  Any effect could impair your driving ability. Certain medications may not impair you on their own, but if taken with a second medication or with alcohol, they may cause impairment.  Any form of impaired driving is illegal.

There are many resources available to get home safely.  Plan ahead and designate a sober driver.  Use public transportation or a rideshare service.  Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, which connects those in need of a sober ride with a taxi or friend to pick them up.  For more information, visit www.nhtsa.gov.

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NEW DEPUTY GRADUATES BASIC POLICE TRAINING

BENTON, AR – The Saline County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) welcomed its newest deputy on Friday, April 12th.  Deputy Ashley Kottler started with the Sheriff’s Office in November and recently finished 13 weeks of basic police training at the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy in East Camden, AR.

Deputy Kottler will now complete a 12 week long field training program.  Deputy Kottler has been assigned to the Patrol Division.

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RIVERSIDE GROCERY CATERS FISH FRY FOR DEPUTIES

BENTON, AR – Deputies and staff members of the Saline County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) were treated to a catered lunch Wednesday by Riverside Grocery and Catering of Benton.

Rick Bellinger, owner of Riverside Grocery and Catering, along with his staff, donated the food and their time as they served their award-winning catfish and chicken to SCSO members.

In showing his appreciation for the meal, Saline County Sheriff Rodney Wright commented “Rick Bellinger has always been a great community partner.  Building personal relationships like this between our deputies and the members of the communities we serve helps us be more effective in delivering public safety services.” 

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PUBLIC’S HELP NEEDED TO IDENTIFY CHECK FRAUD SUSPECTS

BENTON, AR – Detectives of the Saline County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) Criminal Investigation Division (CID) are requesting your help in identifying two suspects that have been forging checks.

The two suspects pictured below, both African-American females, used account numbers from stolen checks in order to create new, forged checks with fake names and other personal information.  They then used these forged checks to steal money from the victim’s checking accounts.  One of the false names used by the females is “Varneasha N. Taylor”.

The surveillance photographs were taken at a Shoe Carnival store in North Little Rock when the two suspects used the forged checks to purchase items.  The first report of these female suspects forging checks in this manner was on January 3, 2019, but they may have been doing so longer. 

Please contact the SCSO CID if you may know who these two suspects are or if you have any other information about this crime.  The non-emergency dispatch telephone number is 501-303-5647, or you may call the anonymous crime tip hotline at 501-303-5744.

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SALINE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE TAKING BACK UNWANTED PRESCRIPTION DRUGS APRIL 27TH IN SALEM AND EAST END COMMUNITIES.

BENTON, AR – On Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Saline County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public its 17th opportunity in nine years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to the Shoppers Value store at 1212 Salem Rd. or the Buy-Rite store at 20720 Arch Street Pike (Sites cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Last fall Americans turned in nearly 460 tons (more than 900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 16 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in almost 11 million pounds—nearly 5,500 tons—of pills. This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards. For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 27 Take Back Day event, go to www.DEATakeBack.com.

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