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Story courtesy of Smithville Review

As promised at the last regular county meeting, Attorney Sarah Cripps attended and spoke at the City of Smithville’s monthly meeting Monday night about her concerns with the local police department. The room was filled with supporters of law enforcement.

She commended Chief Mark Collins on changes he had made since her grievances dating back to a June 9 incident where she and two case workers’ life was threatened, along with Judge Cook’s. However, she stated that funding for proper training is necessary for the protection of all citizens of the city and that the city should consider rectifying that.

“It’s regrettable that the individual who made the credible statements of harm on June 9 was not arrested immediately by Officer Snow,” said Cripps, “because he was present the whole time.

“He did not radio Central Dispatch, he did not radio E911 that a credible threat had been made against Judge Cook, myself, Olivia Norton and Angelia Brown our team leader. E911 could not do a reverse call, because Andy Snow did not notify anyone that this had happened.

“The next issue I would like to address is the problem I have with the lack of cooperation between the city and county in what I call ‘the blame game’ that happens when there’s no good policing,” she continued.

Cripps explained an incident that happened last year in August where shots were fired at a property behind the hospital, but in the county, where bullets traveled into her mother’s yard, whose property is in the city, and went over the head of family member. After her mother reported the incident, Cripps said Andy Snow again was on the scene and did nothing.

Along with Cripps, two local citizens took to the podium to praise local law enforcement and all they do. Also, Chief Collins enlightened the full room of how much officers put at stake to keep the community safe. Office Andy Snow took to the stand to tell his side of the stories, stating Cripps never said anything to him during the June 9 incident, and that she actually argued with the woman who she says made a credible threat against her life. He also recalled the August 2019 incident, and explained his side of the story as well.

City Mayor Josh Miller spoke to the crowd saying, “I do want to make the public aware that this council voted 5-0 last month to build a new police department right across the street. They also voted and approved one of the biggest budgets ever for police and fire.

“I was thinking about this today, and I’m hearing this all the time, that officers are just throwing their hands up and quitting all over the country. I don’t want to just talk about police, but the fire protection, the paramedics, 911 office – I guess I wonder what if everyone just threw their hands up tonight’s and said ‘I’m done.’ We’d be in bad trouble. I do want to thank the council and doing what you did and voting the way you did last month.”

He went on to tell about how the public may see police officers one way, but he sees them differently as he works closely with them on a daily basis.

As time for the public to speak came to a close, the room was filled with cheers from the large crowd that had gathered to show their support to the local law enforcement.

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