Prairie County Sheriff's Office Restoring Reputation by Cracking Down on Crime

DES ARC, Ark. - The Prairie County Sheriff's Department is cracking down on crime and in the process restoring its image.

"If you come to our county and you break the law, we're going to pursue it," Prairie County Sheriff Rick Hickman said. 

This department mindset is not what Sheriff Hickman walked into when he took office this past January. 

"We were just kind of the county that all your state agencies were just kind of like, 'well you know, Prairie County, they're not going to do anything,' and I just wanted to make them know that we are going to do something." 

Hickman's proof is in the numbers. 
In 2015 and 2016 combined, there were 178 arrests made by the county and surrounding police departments. 

But in just nine months of 2017, 146 arrests have already been made. The current numbers put the county on pace to make more arrests this year than the last two years combined. 

"We are here to serve, we're going to get it done," Hickman said.  

Despite a small department of 6 deputies patrolling almost 700 miles, Sheriff Hickman came up with a unique way to have more eyes on criminals. 

"This is a hunting county and everybody has trail cameras so I've got a bunch of these," he said holding up the camouflage cameras usually used for hunting. 

"We get a lot of good stuff off of these."
Also since January, the department partners with law enforcement in surrounding counties. 

"With communication we're helping solve each other's crimes. And it's working."

A proactive approach, helping close the door on a stained past. 

"We've got our reputation back. That makes you proud when you do this." 

Sheriff Hickman started his law enforcement career in Prairie County as a deputy in 1981. He came out of retirement to become sheriff. 

His next goal is to add another deputy to their team. 


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