Local police lend a helping hand in Central Arkansas after the deadly tornado ripped through the area.
The Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office reached out to the Springdale Police Department for assistance last Friday. So far, five Springdale officers have been sent down to Vilonia and Mayflower.
“You can see it as one-dimensional, you can not touch it, you can not feel it, and you can not smell it,” said Chief Kathy O’Kelley, Springdale Police Department. “You just can’t experience the people whom its happening to, so I think it’s valuable that they get to see that side of it.”
The officers have been helping law enforcement work the disaster area. Some of them have even volunteered on their days off.
“It’s an 18 to 20 hour day for them, and they would do it in a heart beat,” said Ron Hritz, Patrol Captain, Springdale Police Department. “These guys are very giving. That’s what they do.”
The department said they are in it for the long haul.
“You know we are brothers and sisters, that’s what we do,” Hritz said. “We help each other out, and this just goes to prove that’s what we do.”
The Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office also sent deputies to Central Arkansas.
“There is a lot of destruction, and a lot of sadness,” said Corporal Wyatt McIntyre, Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office. “At the same time though, people’s spirits are pretty high.”
Wyatt McIntyre and Sean Wallace are two of four deputies who have been there to help.
“You’re looking for looters, but you’re also there for the moral support and to take care of them,” said Wallace.
Both McIntyre and Wallace said they are happy to provide assistance to Central Arkansas in its time of need.
“It’s really humbling to see how all of the people come together,” Wallace said. “It’s also good to see the way we have it here, and what’s going on down there.”
Both agencies said their people are learning a lot from their time spent in Central Arkansas, including new ways to handle natural disasters.