Local Officers assist in Vilonia

Local Volunteers Assist in Vilonia

By Edie Sutterfield Stone County Leader


A group of local law enforcement officers volunteered their time in the Vilonia community last week and were impressed b both the extent of the damage and the positive attitude and support from the local people. The tornado struck on Sunday, April 27th and a group of four Mountain View police officers joined other agencies Tuesday night in helping secure the perimeter, provide security, and enforces the curfew enacted by the city of Vilonia. Mountain View Police Chief B.J. Day went along with Sgt. Jeremy Beaudin, and patrolmen Chris Marshall and Rick Crome. It was volunteer and “they all stepped up and wanted to go”, Day said. The officers worked during the night, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. On Wednesday evening, Beaudin, Crome, and Marshall returned to Vilonia along with Stone County Deputies Joe Beaudin, Brandon Long and Jim Doss.

Deputy Beaudin said they worked alongside six other agencies including local city and county departments, Game and Fish, state police, and National Guard, which established a secure perimeter around the town.  Local officers involved in a few incidents during their shifts. Joe Beaudin said they assisted in two meth arrests, and Day said the city officers intercepted a vehicle that ran a military perimeter and resulted in DWI arrest. “It’s unreal what it looks like,” Beaudin said. “Houses- nothing left”. Despite their troubles he said the people were among the kindest and most respectable he had ever seen, thanking the officers and bringing them coffee all night long. Day said even after the 2008 tornado in Mountain View, he and his officers were not prepared for the level of destruction in Vilonia. “It was a lot worse than we expected”, he said “We had a lot of damage, yes, but down there there’s just nothing left.”

“The support and attitude of the local people there, the hospitality, was just outstanding”, he added.