Washington And Benton Deputies Offer Assistance To Sebastian County

WASHINGTON COUNTY (KFSM) -- Only minutes after hearing a deputy and officer had been shot in Sebastian County, several Northwest Arkansas law enforcement agencies offered made their way to the River Valley.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office was one agency that offered their assistance.

In the past two years, two of Sheriff Tim Helder’s deputies were shot in the line of duty. Helder said, when those shootings happened, other agencies were quick to help out as well. Helder said it was that kind of response is what brings the law enforcement community together during tragedies.

"If [Sebastian County] needed assistance, if they needed folks to cover calls behind their guys who would be running to the aid of the deputy and chief down there, then obviously we were ready to go," Helder said.

Lt. Ti Augustine, who was shot earlier this year, drove down immediately to Sparks Hospital in Fort Smith where the wounded officers were being treated.

“[Augustine] is the one who stepped up and said ‘I want to go’,” Helder said.

Augustine, and other deputies, went to show their support for the families and coworkers of fallen Cpl. Bill Cooper.

“We learned through that experience how critical it is, whenever your guy is on a gurney going through the halls of the emergency room, or going into surgery and recovery in his room, to look up and be surrounded by brothers and sisters in law enforcement,” Helder said.

Helder said attacks on law enforcement are becoming all too familiar to those who wear the badge.

“We are on high alert right now. It is a dangerous [mindset] to be in,” Helder said.

Helder said his office will continue to offer support in any way they can.

“All they got to do is pick up the phone and we are coming,” Helder said.

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the scene. A spokeswoman for the department said they sent 10 SWAT team members to scene of the shooting in Greenwood.