COP awardsSMALLThree Benton police officers were praised and given awards this week for their swift response and arrest of two suspects who allegedly attempted to burglarize a business.

“We want to thank [business owner] Jarrett Clements and COP Security Systems for recognizing our officers for the quick apprehension of the suspects,” Captain Kevin Russell said. “We also want to thank Mr. Clements and COP Security Systems for their cooperation in the investigation. These type of relationships greatly enhance officer investigations, assist in convictions, and ultimately enhances the safety of our community.”

James Ward, with COP Security Systems added, “We wanted to show these officers our appreciation with these trophies, and we feel it is very important to help build the rapport with all first responders. We [COP Security Systems] wouldn’t exist without the efforts of the firefighters, police, dispatchers and ambulance services, because we are very much dependent on them. Without the alarm, Mr. Clements nor the officers would have known and Mr. Clements might have arrived the next morning to a burglarized business.”

Officer Shanna Hastings and two other officers were honored with the trophies.

At approximately 3:22 a.m. June 2, 2016, officers responded to 706 Center Street in response to a business alarm. Upon arrival, an officer made contact with 21-year-old Brittney Suezann Potter of Benton. Two other officers immediately proceeded to clear the business and made contact with 27-year-old Travis Skaggs of Benton at a side door of the business.

Potter told officers that she was walking through the parking lot with Skaggs when Skaggs noticed an open door at the business. She reported to officers that Skaggs exited the vehicle to see if anyone was inside. Officers located a screwdriver on Skaggs and noticed suspected fresh tool marks on the open door. During a search, officers found Potter possessing a glass pipe and suspected marijuana.

Skaggs and Potter each were taken into custody. Skaggs faces charges of Commercial Burglary, class C felony; Possessing an Instrument of Crime, class A misdemeanor; and Criminal Trespass, class C misdemeanor. Potter faces charges of Commercial Burglary, class C felony; Criminal Trespass, class C misdemeanor; Possession of a Controlled Substance, class A misdemeanor; and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, class A misdemeanor.

Anyone with information concerning criminal activities are encouraged to contact the Benton Police Department at 501-778-1171 or 501-315-TIPS. Individuals also may send us anonymous information to CRIMES (274637) with the keyword BNPD in the body of the text or go to to leave a tip. A crime tip can also be submitted via the official Benton Police Department app found on ITunes and Google Play.

Any suspects listed are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.