Chief law enforcement officer in Scott County, Sheriff Randy Shores, Mansfield Police Chief Wayne Robb, and Waldron Police Chief Jeremy Hunt met in a round table discussion about the passage of the Bill of Rights Sanctuary Ordinance on Tuesday, January 28. Also present, Scott County Judge James Forbes, who co-wrote the ordinance.
For more than 30 minutes, the group discussed details and questions regarding the effects of the ordinance passage. However, one thing was clear, nothing changes. “This is business as usual for my department,” stated Hunt. “We took an oath to uphold the Constitution from day one and we will continue to do that.”
The consensus was the same across the board, with Robb and Shores agreeing. “It just reinforces the Constitution of the United States,” explained Robb. “That’s what this ordinance does. That we will not violate, not only the second amendment, but every other amendment and uphold the Constitution. That’s been part of our policy every since our department was established.”
In a voice of unity, Shores echoed the same sentiment. “It won’t change anything, we’re going to do our job. It is good we’ve got elected officials that will stand with us, too. “
The answer was the same across the board, nothing changes, and a promise to continue upholding the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, “conducting business as usual.”
The ordinance, set in place to ensure that citizens of Scott County retain their God given rights, includes each of the 10 amendments. When asked in particular, about the second amendment in regards to open versus concealed carry, Robb referenced the opinion of Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “We are an open carry state, so concealed or not concealed, as long as you’re a law abiding citizen…”
Hunt’s answer was simply, “no problem either way.” Shores agreed, stating to arrest someone who was carrying without a license would be unconstitutional.
“This is a public statement that says this county is going to uphold the Constitution and the Bill of Rights,” stated Judge Forbes. “We’re making a statement, and letting everyone know now…”
Law enforcement officers, while being tasked to uphold the law, must also be equally protective of citizen’s rights. “The Bill of Rights, that is the happy medium,” concluded Forbes.
Although education on Constitutional law is part of their initial training, Shores, Hunt and Robb stated that they receive daily updates on cases that effect enforcement. They, in-turn, pass that information along to their officers.
Both city and county law enforcement stand united, and reiterate their pledge to work for the people, keeping them safe, and protecting their rights.