Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
"[Police are] going to be in SWAT gear and have AR-15s around their neck," [Police Chief Todd] Stovall said. "If you're out walking, we're going to stop you, ask why you're out walking, check for your ID."
Stovall said while some people may be offended by the actions of his department, they should not be.
"We're going to do it to everybody," he said. "Criminals don't like being talked to."
[Mayor Mike] Gaskill backed Stovall's proposed actions during Thursday's town hall.
Well. That's one thing. But Stovall says he plans for officers also to stop and ask people for ID even without any reason for stopping them.
"To ask you for your ID, I have to have a reason," he said. "Well, I've got statistical reasons that say I've got a lot of crime right now, which gives me probable cause to ask what you're doing out. Then when I add that people are scared...then that gives us even more [reason] to ask why are you here and what are you doing in this area."
Stovall said he did not consult an attorney before announcing his plans to combat crime. He even remained undaunted when comparing his proposed tactics with martial law, explaining that "I don't know that there's ever been a difference" between his proposals and martial law.
UPDATE: The news coverage has prompted a statement from police defending its plans and announces town hall meetings this week.
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