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Benton Police Department launched today a month-long campaign focusing on protecting youth in the community. “BNPD: Protecting our Future” will include an emphasis on building rapport with children while keeping them safe.

Enhanced patrols of parks, ball fields and other popular hangouts should be expected by the public according to BNPD Chief Scotty Hodges.

“Patrolling parks both in and out of vehicles, proactively looking into any suspicious activity… these are things BNPD already does, but officers will be increasing their efforts to connect with the kids in the community over the summer months. We want them to know we’re on their side and that they can count on us to always be there for them.”

Hodges added that positive interaction with kids is something BNPD prides itself on, and it adds a bit of fun for officers throughout the summer months when they can connect with them at places other than just school.

“It’s hugely important for kids to know that we care about them year-round and not just when school is in session. Taking a few moments to hang out with them in the park or at the ball field or skating rink is an excellent opportunity to let them know how much we care. Ultimately, our job is to protect them, and that’s the focus of both this initiative and our daily efforts, but we never want to lose sight of the importance of building relationships that will serve to make our community stronger.”

Additional campaign information (and likely LOTS of photos) will be available on BNPD social media sites throughout the month. For inquiries, contact BNPD at 501-776-5948 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.