ANIMAL CRUELTY – Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Policy
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office takes animal cruelty very seriously. Many times there is a direct correlation between those who abuse animals and those who abuse children. We investigate every complaint we receive thoroughly.
There can be a difference of opinion as to what is, neglect or cruelty. We apply the law when dealing with these complaints, not personal feelings or opinion.
Under the vicious dog regulations Ordinance No. 2008-10, a vicious dog is defined under Section I as “A dog which has a disposition to bite humans, and any dog which has bitten or attempted to bite any person within the six (6) months immediately past; however, the fact that a dog has bitten or attempted to bite some person when that person was teasing the dog shall not constitute the dog a vicious dog within the sense of this article.” Section II states “it is unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to keep within Montgomery County, Arkansas, any vicious dog unless the said dog is muzzled or confined in a pen or tied in such a manner that he/she cannot run at large and thereby constitute a danger to other persons or animals.”
BODY ATTACHMENTS – What does this mean?
Body Attachments are court orders usually issued in child support enforcement actions, similar to warrants of arrests that are issued in criminal cases.
A Body Attachment orders and directs law enforcement officers to seize the body of the person named in the order and hold that person in custody pending further orders of the court.
Most Body Attachments (but not all) will have language indicating that the person can be released from custody if a prescribed cash amount is paid to secure his/her release. This amount may or may not equal the total of delinquent child support payments. Others Body Attachments will require the person to remain in custody until brought before the Judge who issued the order.
Any monies that the Sheriff’s Office collects from the Body Attachment actions will be distributed as directed by the court or as prescribed under the law.
BOND – What is bond and how is bond posted?
The terms “Bond” and “Bail” are often used interchangeably, although there are technical differences.
The purpose of requiring the posting of a bond is to ensure that an arrested person will appear in court to answer his or her charges after release from custody.
If a person is arrested with a warrant, the warrant will generally have the bond amount listed. If a person is arrested without a warrant, bond is set by Arkansas Code
Bonds authorized by law include, but not limited to the following:
CASH BOND: An arrested person, or someone acting on his/her behalf, may post the entire bond amount in cash, which will be held by the Sheriff or the Court pending disposition of the criminal case.
SURETY BOND: An arrested person may secure his/her release through the utilization of a professional licensed bail bonding company. The bonding company will charge the arrested person certain “fees” for the service of posting a surety bond to secure the release from custody. Those fees are non-refundable and are not applied to any fines, costs, or restitution that may later be ordered by the court.
OWN RECOGNIZANCE: A Court will sometimes authorize a person in custody to be released on his/her “own recognizance”, which is nothing more than a promise to re-appear at a later date for further judicial proceedings. These are rarely authorized for other than very minor offenses.
Standard conditions of pre-trial release or “conditions of bond” may apply in all instances, and failure to abide by those terms and conditions my result in the bond being revoked and the person being returned to custody.
CHILD SAFETY SEAT – At what age does my child have to be in a child safety or booster seat?
Arkansas Law requires that every child under six (6) years of age of sixty (60) pounds be restrained in a child passenger seat properly secured to the vehicle.
CONCEALED HANDGUN LICENSE – How do I obtain a concealed carry license for a handgun?
All testing and processing for the Concealed Carry Handgun Licenses is done by the Arkansas State Police. Applications for new and renewal license, Information, and names and phone numbers of instructors in Montgomery County can be found on the Arkansas State Police website www.asp.state.ar.us.
CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS – How do I obtain one?
The Sheriff’s Office may provide certain information to the public that is available for public disclosures under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. Exceptions would be for records relating to active/ongoing investigations, certain personnel records, records that have been sealed/expunged by court order and records involving juvenile offenders or juvenile suspects. There are nominal fees associated with processing these requests. The Sheriff’s Office is prohibited by law from providing criminal history or background information of any kind from the Arkansas Crime Information Center database or the National Crime Information Center database.
A more thorough criminal history check that encompasses all jurisdictions in Arkansas is available through the Arkansas State Police. Information can be found on the Arkansas State Police web site at www.asp.state.ar.us.
MISSING PERSONS – How and under what conditions can I report someone missing?
Missing Person reports are separated into two general categories:
Missing/Runaway Juveniles: The parent or guardian of any juvenile (under 18 years of age) may file a missing person-runaway juvenile report at any time. Report will be entered into the NCIC/ACIC law enforcement database immediately, which would serve to alert any officer from any jurisdiction having contact with the juvenile that he/she is listed as missing or a runaway. All officers on duty will be notified and deputies will follow-up on any leads provided by the parent/guardian as to the possible location of the juvenile.
Missing Adults: Any person eighteen (18) years of age or older is considered to be an adult with full freedom of movement and liberty. Exceptions would include persons under the legal guardianship of another adult or protective services. Deputies will take reports of missing adults at any time. The extent of any follow-up will depend upon the circumstances of the disappearance. For example, if evidence indicates the missing persona was endangered or may have been forcibly abducted, deputies would immediately begin follow-up on leads. If the missing person simply has not been seen recently but no evidence of foul play was found to exist, then our options and responsibilities in those cases are limited under the law and department policy.
POLICE REPORTS – How do I get a copy?
Accident Reports: Patrol Deputies prepare traffic accident reports on accidents they have investigated. These reports are filed with Dispatch Office within five (5) days of the date of the accident. There is a nominal fee for copies of these reports. Some accidents are investigated by the Arkansas State Police, and those reports are available through the Arkansas State Police Troop K Headquarters in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Obtaining Copies of Reports and Records: Most Sheriff’s Office records are public information under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act and are available for public viewing, and for copying for a nominal fee. There are several exceptions to this, including specifically reports and paperwork relating to criminal cases remaining open and under investigation, certain personnel records, records sealed/expunged by court order, and records relating to juveniles (under 18 years of age). We will not compile statistical or comparative data for individuals, nor will Administration Staff offer comment on reports or documents prepared and filed by individual deputies.
TOWING OF VEHICLES – When does law enforcement have vehicles towed?
The Sheriff’s Office has authority to impound and tow vehicles under limited circumstances. These are:
* When the driver of the vehicle was lawfully stopped by law enforcement and the vehicle has been seized, with or without the driver being arrested.
* When the vehicle has been disabled in a traffic accident and the owner/operator is not at the scene or is incapacitated and unable to make or request specific arrangements for the removal of the vehicle.
* When the vehicle is illegally parked in violation of Arkansas Statutes or County Ordinances. Examples would include handicapped parking violations, blocking the roadway, parking within an intersection or crosswalk, parking too close to a fire hydrant or traffic control sign, and several other reasons.
SEX OFFENDERS – What are the different levels and what do they mean?
Convicted Sex Offenders are required by law to register with law enforcement.
There are four (4) levels of Sex Offenders under Arkansas Law. The levels represent the likelihood the Offender will re-offend.
Level 1 – Least likely to re-offend
Level 2 – Moderate risk to re-offend
Level 3 – High Risk to re-offend
Level 4 – Sexually Violent Predator
A convicted Sex Offender, who is assigned a risk level or 1, 2, or 3, is required to come in to the Sheriff’s Office every 6 months to re-register. A level 4 Sex Offender is required to come in every 3 months to re-register.
When a Sex Offender moved into the State of Arkansas, they are required to be evaluated before they are assigned a risk level. This process sometimes will take several months before the State assigns a risk level. Law Enforcement is not allowed to notify the public UNTIL a risk level has been assigned by the State of Arkansas.
UNLOCKING VEHICLES – Can the Sheriff’s Office unlock my personal vehicle?
Only in cases of an EMERGENCY, such as a small child being locked inside a vehicle, can the Sheriff’s Office send someone to assist with gaining entry to your personal vehicle. Our deputies do not carry any unlocking tools in their patrol cars, and potential liability for property damage will not allow us to unlock personal vehicles.
In non-emergency cases, you would need to call a professional locksmith to assist in gaining entry into your vehicle.
WELFARE CHECKS – Will the Sheriff’s Office check on the personal welfare of people in their homes?
The Sheriff’s Office frequently receives request to perform what we term a “Welfare Check” on another person. These generally occur when people are unable to reach a family member or close friend in Montgomery County and are concerned about the personal health and welfare of that person. We will generally dispatch a deputy to the address provided by the caller to see if contact can be made with the person in question. If contact is made, and if deemed appropriate and necessary, the deputy will conduct a brief, cursory and informal investigation to determine the physical and/or mental health and wellbeing of the person, without violating his/her privacy rights. The deputy or dispatcher will then re-contact the caller to provide information on what was learned.
Another frequent request is from a parent for a deputy to check on the “welfare” of minor children in the permanent or temporary custody of the other parent. The Sheriff’s Office will generally agree to make one (1) such welfare check on the children, provided the parent making the request can provide specific reasons based on facts that the welfare of the minor children is somehow jeopardized. We have a specific written department policy dealing with these issues. We will NOT be used by one parent as a tool to harass or intimidate the other parent because of a custody issue or dispute that remains unresolved by the courts.