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Experience does count

Public safety — police and fire services — are two major selling points for selling White Hall as a good place to call home. Both the police and fire departments provide vital protection.

Knowing the a police car will drive down your street several times a day to keep an eye on your business or residence is reassuring, as is the knowledge that volunteer firefighters will respond when called.

The practice of hiring experienced, certified police officers is a wise investment that pays dividends.

Many of the police officers commissioned by Police Chief Richard “Ricky”

Wingard and his predecessor came aboard having been certified as officers by the state. That means they are not required to attend a 12-week training course at the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy at East Camden at the city’s expense.

“You can’t teach street experience,” is how Wingard explains that three recent hires by the department have more than 60 years experience. While other police departments may pay a higher salary, White Hall offers incentives — longevity pay and stipends for additional training and college hours — that brings the base pay to a competitive level. Knowing that an officer responding to a citizen’s call has experience dealing with a variety of crimes, domestic violence and traffic accident investigation simply means that our residents can sleep a bit easier at night knowing the caliber of individuals patrolling the streets.

Drive past the fire station when our volunteer firemen show up for training and vehicles maintenance. The turnout numbers remain impressive.

The same holds true when you read the fire alarm run reports. Adequate manpower and equipment are dispatched to handle the calls for help. Mutual aid pacts mean additional help is available if needed.

That’s why real estate agents brag on available public safety services to potential residents.