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Ways we help you

Free child car seats
Operation Good Morning – feel safer when you live alone.
Project LifeSaver
Crime Watch
Vacation house watch
Pyromed – dispose of old medicines safely
BC Alert – weather or other emergency alerts
Shop with a Cop


 
Free Car Seats              
 
The Bella Visa Police Department gives free car seats to anyone who needs one. The program began about 10 years ago when the department was still part of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office and is funded by a grant and donations.
 
Parents, guardians, baby sitters or grandparents can get free car seats. If you have twins or triplets, you can get free car seats. Call 855-3771.
 
By Arkansas law, newborn infants to children about six years old and 60 pounds must be in either a car seat or a booster seat. The optimum height for a child to use a regular seat belt is 4 feet 9 inches, said Amber Bowman, car-seat technician and animal control officer.
 
Bella Vista’s three certified car-seat technicians are Bowman, Dispatcher Blake Hughes and Officer Charles Tomlin.
 
The technicians must install all car seats. They also educate the children’s guardians or parents. If the parents or guardians already have installed car seats, techs will check if the seats are installed for maximum safety. They make certain each car seat is the right size for the child.
 
They will also check car seats to see if they are outdated. After five years, car seats need to be replaced because they wear out and are not considered safe. If the seat is outdated, the technician will replace it with a new one.
 
 The Bella Vista Police Department gets the car seats and training through the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, Benton County Sheriff’s Deputy Doug Gay said. The sheriff’s office receives the money for training technicians from a STEP Grant through the Arkansas State Police. Walmart Inc. donates the car seats.
 
Call 855-3771 for more information and an appointment.

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Operation Good Morning

If you live alone, you can feel safe at home
with help from the Bella Vista Police Department.

If you live alone, Operation Good Morning can help you feel safer with a morning check-up call. If you answer your phone, the police know you are OK. If you don’t answer, a dispatcher sends a police officer to your house to find out why. If you need help, the officer will get it for you.
 
The program is available to anyone, no matter what age. About 99 percent of the people are single, but the program does have a few older couples, said Shelley Frederick, police department secretary.
 
How the service works
A special computer program calls your home phone each morning at a time of your choosing, any time between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. You decide what time you like best. For example choose 5:15 a.m. or 7:20 a.m. The times do not have to be on the hour or half-hour.
 
You will be called seven days a week.
 
If you don’t answer your phone, the computer will call you a second time. If you still don’t answer, the computer sends a report to a dispatcher, who will try to call you. If you still don’t answer, the dispatcher will send a police officer to find out what’s wrong.
 
“The service offers peace of mind to the clients and their families,” Frederick said.
 
Print out the Operation Good Morning application form by clicking here.
 
For more information, call 855-8030.

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Project Lifesaver of Benton County
bringing loved ones home 

Project Lifesaver’s mission is to find lost children and adults who wander away from home. These people may wander because they have diseases or conditions such as autism, Down syndrome, Alzheimer’s or other mental disorders.
 
Project Lifesaver’s loved ones — adults or children — wear radio signal transmitters. Police officers use radio signal tracking devices to find the loved ones.
 
The transmitter, which is worn on a wrist or hanging around the neck, is about the size of a large watch, Police Chief Kenny Farmer said.


Officer Mitzie Williams uses the tracking device
to find a lost loved one.

“When a person is part of Project Lifesaver, two of my officers can find that person in 30 minutes or less,” Lt. Ryan Harmon said. “When searching for a lost person who is not in the program, it can take dozens of my officers thousands of hours.”
 
The longer they are lost the farther they can go and the more likely they may be injured, Farmer said.  Part of Project Lifesaver training teaches the loved ones’ caregivers they must call the police immediately. “It’s OK to call,” Farmer said.
 
Clients must pay a one-time $100 fee — the only cost — to join the program, program administrator Lana McDonald said. The program used to charge a monthly fee for batteries and maintenance, but in 2011 they dropped the fee. 
 
McDonald helps people register their loved ones for the program. In addition, she finds volunteers to make monthly visits to the families, change batteries and check logs.
 
For more information about the Project Lifesaver program or to volunteer, call McDonald at 855-2715.

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Crime Watch


Marv Koch drove his neighborhood 11 years

Crime Watch is a neighborhood watch program covering the City of Bella Vista.
 
“Crime Watch members are the eyes and ears for the police,” Crime Watch President said.
 
A volunteer for Crime Watch drives your neighborhood and reports any dangers or hazards to the dispatchers.
 
Before each shift a volunteer picks up magnetic signs with the words “Crime Watch” and a police radio. The driver uses the police radio to report problems. A dispatcher answers the radio call and reports the problem to the right people including: the water department, road department, sewer company, fire or police.
 
Crime Watch is run by a board of directors that meets monthly. They also hold gatherings to thank the new members and tell all the volunteers how much they appreciate their service.
 
“The police appreciate the volunteers”, Police Chief Ken Farmer said. By patrolling their neighborhoods, they recognize things that are out of place more readily and report them for follow-up by police officers.
 
“They act as a deterrent to criminal activity,” Farmer said. “Crime Watch is a great group of people who provide a valuable service to the city.”
 
Officer Tim Cook is the liaison between the police department and Crime Watch.
 
For more information about volunteering for Crime Watch, call 855-3771.

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Vacation House Watch

If you let the Bella Vista Police Department know you’re going on vacation, patrol officers will drive by and check your house.
 
The free service is called “Vacation House Watch.”
 
The police need your name and address. They also need to know if you leave a light on while you are gone, whether cars are parked in your driveway or carport, who has a house key and a phone number so they reach you in case of an emergency.
 
The dispatchers will enter the information into a computer to produce a list to give to patrol officers.
 
When officers aren’t busy answering calls, they will patrol your street and check your house. 
 
To get the service, you can print a form now. Click here  for the Vacation House Watch form. Fill it out and take it to the police department.
 
Or, you can call 855-8030 to give your information to the police.
 
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Pyromed
Dispose of old medicines safely. Use Pyromed.
 

Keep medicines out of children or teenagers’ reach and protect the environment. Throw away your no longer needed or expired medications safely. Use the Bella Vista Police Department’s PyroMed program.
 
Put your prescription or over-the-counter meds in a bag. Then, take them to the Bella Vista Police Department’s drop box in front of the Police Department. Pull down the lid and drop the bag inside.
 
Please do not put any needles or sharp objects in the box.
 
The police department stores the medications in a secure location until they can be destroyed.
 
You may drop off your medicines anytime — 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Benton County Alert (BC Alert) www.bcalert.com
BC Alert is a notification system allowing police, fire and other government officials to contact you with important information during an emergency or crisis.
 
You can receive the alert four ways:
·        E-mail to your work, home or other location
·        Cell phone and pagers
·        Landline phones, tornado warning only.
 
An example of a hazardous condition occurred on the east side in 2011 when a water line broke and residents’ drinking water was contaminated.
 
“We generated our own voice telephone message warning residents to boil their water,” Police Chief Ken Farmer said. “BC Alert then called all the residents affected by the broken waterline and warned them.”

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Shop with a Cop
 
“Began in Bella Vista in 2007 and helps children who wouldn’t have much of a Christmas,” said Sgt. Bill Kaminski, who organizes the event. The police raise money throughout the year to give to at-risk school children so they can buy gifts for themselves and their families.
 
Once a year, police officers take at-risk children Christmas shopping at Walmart and then out to lunch. The kids come from Cooper Elementary School and Gravette Elementary School.
 
They ride school buses to the store and get several police patrol-car escorts with lights and sirens.
 
Each child is given about $200 to buy gifts with the help and advice of police officers. The officers suggest gift ideas, check sizes and keep track of the money. Most of all they get to know the children. The students learn that police officers are friendly and helpful.
 
We receive a lot of satisfaction by watching these children go up and down the Walmart aisles looking for gifts for themselves and their family members. We get a little choked up during their shopping spree.
 
At the end of Shop with a Cop, children begin to see officers in a different light, and trust is established.
 
To donate, write a check to the Bella Vista Police Department and write “Shop with a Cop” in the memo section. For more information, call 855-3771.

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  The City of Bella Vista
101 Town Center
P.O. Box 5655
Bella Vista, AR 72714
Phone: 479-876-1255 Office Hours are:
8:00a to 4:30p Monday thru Friday
except on National Holidays.

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