Following news of the Memphis runner who was abducted and killed last week, an Arkansas police department is doing what it can to help people feel safer.
SEARCY, Ark. – The Memphis community continues to remember the runner who was abducted and killed this week – and the incident has put runners across the country on high alert for safety.
That’s why an Arkansas police department will do everything possible to help people feel safer and more comfortable.
“It’s something that as a citizen as law enforcement, you don’t want to see something like that happen,” Searcy Police Chief Steve Hernandez said.
Chief Hernandez said his officers had been patrolling the trails for some time, but wanted to announce it to the public after learning of Eliza Fletcher’s death.
“We wanted to offer something for runners or cyclists so that they know in more detail when we are going to be there. That way they know if they want to schedule their races at that time to do so,” said Chief Hernandez. said.
They announced on Facebook that they will be patrolling the city’s trails Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., although that’s not the only time they’ll be away.
“Patrol is always on patrol when they’re not online or whatever else they’re working on,” he explained.
Chef Hernandez added that he did not expect such a strong response from the community on social media.
“We didn’t expect this to turn into so many shares and likes and comments, we just wanted to let people know it’s an option,” he said.
Makayla Hoover frequents Berryhill Park, which is right next to the trails, and said it worried her to hear about Fletcher’s kidnapping.
“From what I heard, it really scared me, I was really scared about it,” Hoover said.
She also added that she felt better knowing there would be an additional police presence.
“It makes me feel good to know that we have like we can be here, we can be safe and all that without something like that having happened to a woman because it’s really scary now with everything that’s going on. happens, so you definitely feel more protected,” she explained.
Despite the extra patrols, Chief Hernandez urged everyone to stay aware of their surroundings and call the police if they see anything suspicious.
“We are acting accordingly now. Because we don’t want something like that to happen here, obviously,” he said.
According to Chief Hernadez, they patrol more than bike paths, they also monitor city streets.
You can track their patrol hours on the Searcy Police Department Facebook page.