Press Releases


Deputy Receives Life Saving Award

On January 7th, 2020, Sheriff Rodney Wright presented Saline County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) Detention Officer Chris Gentry with the SCSO Lifesaving Award.  Deputy Gentry, who is assigned to the SCSO Detention Facility, recently came into contact with an inmate that stopped breathing and was unresponsive. Deputy Gentry immediately began lifesaving measures, including CPR and utilization of the Automated External Defibrillator, until medical personnel could arrive on scene and transport the inmate to the Saline Memorial Hospital.

As a result of his quick actions, the inmate in question was expected to make a complete recovery.

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Three SCSO deputies graduate from law enforcement academy.

Friday December 20th marked the culmination of thirteen weeks of intensive academic and physical training for three Saline County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) deputies as they graduated from the Central Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy in North Little Rock.

Deputy Adontae Winston, Deputy David Belue and Deputy Blake Vise completed the 520-hour program of instruction which included subjects such as criminal and civil law, firearms, emergency driving, physical training, hand-to-hand combat and technical writing.  The keynote address was given by Arkansas Division of Emergency Management Director A.J. Gary, and encouraged thoughtfulness and integrity in service.

Deputy Winston and Deputy Vise are assigned to the Patrol Division.  Deputy Belue is assigned to the Administration Division, Civil Process Section.  Saline County Sheriff Rodney Wright congratulated the deputies and welcomed them to the Sheriff's Office.

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Deputies Honored by Rotary Club

Four Saline County Sheriff's Office deputies were recently honored by the Rotary Club of Benton and Bauxite as the First Responders of the Month.  Deputy Tyler Lovell, Deputy Tre Davis, Dep. Kate Hawthorn and Dep. Tommy Holcomb were selected based upon a nomination by Sheriff Rodney Wright which detailed their actions during a shooting that occurred on November 30th.

Each of the deputies responded to the incident in which five victims received serious gunshot wounds in various areas of their bodies.  The deputies applied tourniquets and other emergency medical devices to the victims in order to control bleeding and prevent further injuries.  After transferring care of the victims to paramedics, the deputies began searching for the suspect.

Sheriff Wright has commended the deputies for their quick thinking, expert actions and professional demeanor during this crisis, which contributed directly towards saving the lives of the five victims.

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Benton, AR – On Wednesday, August 28th, Saline County Sheriff Rodney Wright was sworn in as an inaugural member of the newly formed Arkansas 911 Board.  Saline County Circuit Judge Gary Arnold administered the oath of office to Sheriff Wright. 

The Board, which is part of the Arkansas Department of Public Safety, was established by House Bill 1564 of 2019 for the purposes of developing a next generation 911 system, providing funding for further deploying rural broadband as the appropriate platform for emergency networks, and simplifying and consolidating charges currently paid by telecommunication subscribers to provide services in the most efficient manner possible.

Sheriff Wright remarked, “I was honored to have been appointed to the Board by the Governor.”  He went on to state, “I look forward to working with the other board members to help increase the efficiency of our 911 systems, which will allow us to provide a higher level of public safety and services to our communities.”

Sheriff Wright was appointed by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson to serve a four-year term.

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BENTON, AR – Sergeant Wade Gilliam of the Saline County Sheriff’s Office Selective Enforcement Unit was honored recently by the Arkansas Sheriffs Association at their annual conference last week in Rogers.

Sgt. Gilliam received the 2019 Outstanding Service Award for his dedication to the Arkansas Sheriff’s Association Honor Guard Team.  Sgt. Gilliam has been a member of the honor guard since 2015 and has been the team coordinator since 2017.

The Arkansas Sheriffs Association Honor Guard is composed of volunteers from Sheriff’s Offices throughout Arkansas and serves as a steward to law enforcement functions throughout the state.

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Back to School Time

We’re going back to school today, and we can’t wait to see you there!  The Saline County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officers are ready to start their classes and meet all of you! 

Our SROs will be available to help students and staff with any problems they may be facing in school or at home.  Please remember that cell phone use in a school zone is PROHIBITED for students and staff as well as for the traveling public!  Also, beginning this year passing a stopped school bus becomes a Class A Misdemeanor and you can lose your driver’s license! 

Our goal is to keep you safe and help you have a great school year!

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Benton, AR – The Saline County Sheriff’s Office has received Naloxone (Narcan) overdose kits through a grant funded by the Arkansas State Drug Director’s Office, the University of Arkansas System Criminal Justice Institute and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The grant provides the kits, which include two doses of Narcan, a bio-hazard face mask and other first aid items, to all deputies at the Sheriff’s Office in order to help fight the current opioid overdose epidemic.  The deputies, including jail staff, will carry the kits at all times in order to be ready to respond to any emergency involving a potential overdose.

Saline County Sheriff Rodney Wright, speaking with Drug Director Kirk Lane, commented “We cannot overstate the importance of this Narcan partnership in Saline County.  Having the overdose kits in the hands of first responder saves valuable minutes in a crisis and has the potential to save countless lives.”  He went on to say “we have already seen about a half dozen lives saved by our office alone in the past year.  Thanks to the grant we have been given, we can continue to have that meaningful impact on our community.”

For more information regarding the opioid epidemic in Arkansas, visit the Arkansas Take Back website at https://www.artakeback.org/.

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Benton, AR – The Saline County Sheriff’s Office needs your help in locating a missing person from the Salem community.

Cory Schroeder (pictured below) was last seen in the area of the Avilla Grocery Store on Friday, May 21st, 2019.  He was dropped off at the store by a friend and was wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt and was carrying a black and red backpack.  Mr. Schroeder is 6’8” tall and weighs approximately 240 pounds.

Mr. Schroeder is known to visit the Bauxite area and the Cottonwood neighborhood near Congo Rd. in Salem.

Detectives ask anyone with information about Mr. Schroeder or his whereabouts please call them at 501-303-5647 or 501-303-5648 or call their local law enforcement agency.  Anonymous information may be left by calling 501-303-5744.

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Benton, AR – The Saline County Sheriff’s Office today launched a tough new speed enforcement blitz for Saline County under the tagline: “Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine.”  The intensified enforcement effort against speeding drivers underscores the severity of the problem, both locally and across the nation.

“Speeding is a major contributing factor in fatal motor vehicle collisions” said Saline County Sheriff Rodney Wright.  “Along with wearing your seat belt and driving sober, avoiding excessive speed can greatly increase your chances of surviving a crash.”

In 2015, speeding was a contributing factor in 27 percent of all fatal crashes in the U.S. and more than 9,500 lives were lost in such crashes, according to the latest data available from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

“During the “Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine” blitz, officers will intensify enforcement of posted speed limits in Saline County.  We will focus our efforts on areas where we receive complaints from citizens of speeders and in area highway work zones.” said Sheriff Wright.

Fully 17 percent of all speeding-related traffic fatalities occurred on local roads -- where the posted speed limits were 55 miles per hour or under. According to NHTSA, a crash on a road with a speed limit of 65 mph or greater is more than twice as likely to result in a fatality than a crash on a road with a speed limit of 45 or 50 mph and nearly five times as likely as a crash on a road with a speed limit of 40 mph or below. About 15 percent of the country’s speeding-related fatalities occur on interstate highways each year.

 A NHTSA research report, “Analysis of Speeding-Related Fatal Motor Vehicle Traffic Crashes,” shows that a major proportion of fatal, speeding-related single-vehicle crashes occur on rural roadways.

Across America in 2015, speeding was a factor in 17 percent of all fatal crashes on dry roads, and in 21 percent of those occurring on wet roads.

NHTSA considers a crash speeding-related if the driver was charged with exceeding the posted speed limit or if the driver was driving too fast for conditions at the time.

For more information please visit http://trafficsafetymarketing.gov/.

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Benton, AR - The Fourth of July is celebrated by friends and families nationwide. It’s a time for Americans to fire up the barbecue, hoist the flag, and grab a seat for that spectacular fireworks display. But before you head out for the celebrations, make sure you plan for a sober way home. Law enforcement in Saline County is taking part in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign during the Fourth of July holiday period, June 29-July 5, 2019, to put an end to drunk driving. In support of law enforcement’s dedication to protecting the lives of residents in their communities, you’ll see increased enforcement on the roads with zero tolerance for those who drive impaired.

 During the 2017 Fourth of July holiday period (6 p.m. June 30 to 5:59 a.m. July 5), 237 people were killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. These deaths accounted for 39 percent of the total motor vehicle traffic crashes that occurred over the holiday period. The deaths also represent a 23-percent increase from 2016, during which 192 people were killed during the same holiday period. That’s 237 families who will forever remember Independence Day with a heavy heart and nightmarish memories.

“Impaired driving impacts every single person in Saline County,” said Saline County Sheriff Rodney Wright. “It is not only illegal, but it is a threat to public safety. If you choose to drink this holiday, please make the responsible choice and have a designated driver. If you don’t, there will be zero tolerance.”

 According to NHTSA, drunk driving accounted for 29 percent (10,874) of motor vehicle traffic crash-induced deaths in 2017. With Fourth of July festivities wrapping up in the evening or late at night, more cars will be on the roads. The rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes is higher at night. During the 2017 July 4th holiday period, of the 237 people who died in alcohol-impaired motor vehicle traffic crashes, 79 percent (187) of the alcohol-impaired fatalities occurred during nighttime hours (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.).

Celebrate with a Plan

This Fourth of July, the Saline County Sheriff’s Office and NHTSA urge drivers to designate a sober driver before heading out for the evening. If you plan on drinking, plan on not driving.

Remember these tips for a safe night on the roads:

Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely. Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, available on Google Play for Android devices: (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nhtsa.SaferRide&hl=en), and Apple’s iTunes Store for iOS devices: (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/saferride/id950774008?mt=8). SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up. If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact 911 or call your local law enforcement agency. Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

The Costs of Drunk Driving

Drinking and driving is dangerous, even if you’re “just buzzed.” When you drive impaired, you risk your life and safety, and the lives and safety of those riding with you and around you. Does mortality not get your attention? Maybe money will: A DUI arrest could cost you up to $10,000, not to mention the loss of your vehicle and driver’s license. You could face jail time, higher insurance rates, and hefty expenses from attorney’s fees, fines, car towing and repairs, and lost time at work. Imagine trying to explain that to your family, friends, or employer.  

This Fourth of July, commit to only driving 100-percent sober. Don’t lose your independence on Independence Day, and don’t be a deadly risk to yourself and other innocent people. Remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. For more information on impaired driving, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.

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