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County Lines Magazine

County Lines is the official publication of the Association of Arkansas Counties. It is published quarterly. For advertising inquiries, subscriptions or other informa- tion relating to the magazine, please con- tact Christy L. Smith or Scott Perkins at 501.372.7550.

Executive Director / Publisher Chris Villines

Communications Director/ Managing Editor Scott Perkins

Communications coordinator/ Editor

Christy L. Smith AAC Executive Board:

Judy Beth Hutcherson – President Debbie Wise – Vice President

Sherry Bell Cindy Walker

Andrea Billingsley John Montgomery Rhonda Cole

David Thompson Angela Hill

Joe Gillenwater – Secretary-Treasurer Debra Buckner Brandon Ellison Jimmy Hart

Patrick Moore Sandra Cawyer Bill Hollenbeck Debbie Cross

National Association of Counties (NACo) Board Affiliations

Judy Beth Hutcherson: NACo board member. She is the Clark County Treasurer and president of the AAC Board of Directors.

Debbie Wise: NACo board member. She is the Randolph County Circuit Clerk, vice president of the AAC Board of Directors and chair of AAC’s Legislative Committee.

Ted Harden: Finance & Intergovernmental Affairs Steering Committee. He serves on the Jefferson County Quorum Court.

Kasey Summerville: Finance, Pensions & Intergov- ernmental Affairs Steering Committee. She is the Clark County Assessor.

David Hudson: Vice Chair of NACo’s Justice and Public Safety Steering Committee. He is the Sebastian County Judge and member of the Rural Action Caucus Steering Committee.


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Support for symbols of civility in our county family

sas’ counties. Te badge on our county lawmen isn’t worn as protection or a symbol of power. Rather it is the mark of courage. Like many of you, I am saddened each day to hear a new report of yet another courageous man or woman attacked with- out provocation, all too often succumbing to needless injury only to make front page news one day and back page news the next.

C As a child growing up in Saline County, a small county back then, I remember

well the respect and admiration I held for law enforcement and firefighters alike. Tese were the people that helped restore order. Tey stood as a symbol of civility for all in their communities.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, in the United States there are about 765,000 sworn personnel (defined as those with general arrest powers). Tis is an amazing assemblage of society and a testament to the priority that our country places on law and order. We have been and continue to be safe because of the brave work these men and women perform.

Unfortunately a few events outside our state’s borders and heavily publicized and judged before adjudication have been and will continue to be extrapolated by some Arkansans to paint a broad brush of policing in general. Unwarranted crimes against officers — the men and women who signed on to protect us — have resulted.

At the annual AAC conference our board president, Judy Beth Hutcherson, ac-

knowledged the fact that we in county government are a family. Remembering this and understanding the stress that our law enforcement works under, often with low pay to boot, should be a call to action for our county officials to go out of their way to act with affirmation toward our men and women in uniform.

Deputy Darren Goforth, a suburban Houston police officer, recently was shot in the back and killed while fueling his patrol vehicle. Just days later an unidentified officer in Harris County, Texas, wrote the following:

“Today while in uniform I went to a gas station to fill up my equipment and a man walked up to me and said, ‘Sir, I have your back while you get your gas.’ Te man stood in the middle of the parking lot looking around. I then went inside to get some water and he remained in the parking lot watching me. On my way out I shook his hand and thanked him. While leaving the parking lot he was still watching my back and waved good-bye as I drove down the street.”

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ourage is defined as the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face diffi- culty, danger, pain, etc., without fear.

Director’s Desk

Chris Villines AAC

Executive Director Te bravest among us are found throughout the payrolls of Arkan-

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