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Good morning,

It is with such a heavy heart I write my weekly report. As I reflect back to last Friday, I have gone through so many emotions. I have experienced sadness, anger, confusion, and some I can't mention here. We are all asking Why? The answer is that we may never know. Each day I see the outpouring of love and compassion from everyone in our community. I have had hundreds of texts and phone calls of support. I want to thank every person who reached out to check on me and my deputies this week.

I have started and stopped this week's message to you several times. When I sent you my weekly message last week, I had no glimpse of what that day would bring. Let me begin my message today by saying please keep praying. Pray for the victim's families and loved ones, pray for our law enforcement and first responder community, pray for our community and its leaders, and pray for the volunteers who continue to give so selflessly of their time and effort. Pray for those who have been affected by this tragic event in any way. Finally, I would ask you to remember the accused shooter's family in your prayers. They are innocent victims too and need our prayers.

My department has been largely overwhelmed by the outpouring of love that has come our way this week. From cookies, doughnuts, and cakes to cards and hugs, we have been awed by those of you who have gone out of your way to contact us. We are proud to serve our Dallas County citizens. Your expressions of care and compassion have just astounded us. We also found some solace as we were visited by Persis the Comfort Dog this week. Lutheran Church Charities brought her by the office, and she was truly appreciated by us all.

I want to assure everyone that we will survive this horrific tragedy. As I have stated, "We will not let this incident define or divide us". Enough has been said and reported about last Friday's events. Our only focus now is to provide support for everyone involved.

I would be remiss if I didn't thank some people of my own. First of all, I am extremely proud of the spirit of brotherhood and togetherness my department and the members of the Fordyce Police Department have been experiencing. We have tried for the last year and a half to build a good working relationship between our departments and the actions of last Friday morning and afternoon have shown the rewards of that relationship. This connection can only benefit our citizens and I know that Chief Hubanks feels the same way.

I also want to publicly acknowledge our dispatchers. They are largely behind the scenes and rarely get the accolades they deserve. Last Friday, we had two new dispatchers on duty when the events started to unfold. They reacted like seasoned professionals. I can't express how skillfully they handled the whole situation. Off-duty dispatchers came to assist them, but they managed the initial 911 calls and dispatching duties alone first. It couldn't have been easy for them but they got us what we needed promptly and professionally.

Also, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to our law enforcement family statewide. Our neighboring Sheriffs in Bradley, Calhoun and Drew counties have assisted us. Their departments took calls for my deputies from last Friday evening through last Sunday, so we could have a little break and some down time to begin to process what we experienced during last Friday's events. That time was much needed, and we owe a debt of gratitude to those lawmen for giving us that time. We also must acknowledge the US Marshal Service, Arkansas State Police, Arkansas Highway Police, and Arkansas Game and Fish agencies for being such a support and offering aid in various ways.

I had a really frank and positive meeting with representatives of the Mad Butcher store. As I am sure you've already heard, they will be reopening the store soon. We need to support those efforts. We need to commend the workers who will return to serve our community. Don't forget, they are victims in need of prayers also.

I know we as a community are going to rise above this tragedy. The events of June 21, 2024 will not be forgotten. It is part of our story now. However, we will not let evil actions take our hometown from us. We are changed but we are #FordyceStrong.

The next few days are going to be exceptionally difficult for us all as we lay the true innocent heroes to rest. We are rewarded by remembering them as we loved them and in having the promise that we will assuredly meet them again in Heaven. Please remember the victims we lost and pray for the victims left behind. There are still some victims that are hospitalized and some who are going to be facing ongoing health challenges.

Felony Friday:

Worthy, Julian, of Fordyce, FPD Driving While Intoxicated, Terroristic Threatening

Sapp, Jadaesha, Of El Dorado, Parole Violation

Harris, Tyrone Clifton, of Fordyce, FPD Absconding, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

McClure, Ricky Charles, of Camden, Felony Failure to Appear

Smith, Tyrell, of Carthage, Battery in the First Degree

Meads, Maxine, of Fordyce, FPD Failure to Appear Misdemeanor

God Bless,

Sheriff Mike Knoedl

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