- Associated Press - Monday, March 31, 2014

KIBLER, Ark. (AP) - For Kibler Police Chief Roger Green, providing law enforcement to the Crawford County town is not much different than policing larger cities.

“Crime knows no boundaries,” he said. “Kibler is a great community, but like any other city, it’s going to have crime. There’s no city that’s crime-free, but we’re doing our best to keep it at a minimum in Kibler.”

Green, who has served as Kibler’s chief of police and only full-time officer for 12 years, calls the role his dream job, one he attained after many years of police work.

Green was born and raised in Kibler. A 1983 Van Buren High School graduate, Green worked for Whirlpool for eight years before he decided law enforcement was the right career for him. “I had friends in law enforcement,” he said. “I rode with them and learned quickly that the love of my life was going to be law enforcement.”

In 1992, Alma Police Chief Russell White hired Green to be a dispatcher. In 1994, he became a part-time police officer, a position that does not receive pay.

“The Morgan Nick abduction is one of the first things I was involved in,” he said. “We ran lead after lead, day after day, trying to find out what happened to her.”

Green recalled that the investigation into the 6-year-old Nick’s disappearance, which occurred June 9, 1995, during a Little League baseball game, was a daily obsession for the members of the Alma Police Department.

Nick remains missing.

“It’s something that we think about every day; it’s always in the back of our mind what happened to her,” Green said. “It’s just so disappointing that we were not able to solve it at that time, but I feel like there will be a day when we will know what happened.”

After a couple of years in Alma, Green joined the Van Buren Police Department as a part-time officer and shortly after became a full-time officer.

Green said he was on patrol when the April 1996 tornado struck Van Buren.

“The tornado crossed in front of my patrol unit, and I radioed in very nervously about what was happening in front of my police car,” he said. “That’s another night I will never forget.”

“I couldn’t believe it; I was watching pieces of steel being bent over to the ground right in front of me,” he said. “It was rocking my police car, and the hail was so great in size that it broke the light on top of my car.”

“It was total chaos; it was a scene of panic for people,” Green said. “There are certain times that stick out; that’s one I’ll never forget.”

Green was working for Van Buren police when Kibler city officials approached him about joining a new Police Department. The Crawford County Sheriff’s Office previously provided law enforcement to Kibler.

“The reason the city of Kibler developed the Police Department was to protect and serve the citizens of Kibler,” Mayor Gary O’Kelley said. “It came time it was a needed service.”

Green said it was a chance to bring his two worlds together.

“Just the thought of going home where I was raised and doing what I was trained to in my hometown where my parents lived was a no-brainer for me,” he said.

O’Kelley said Green was the most qualified for the role.

“My desire was to hire a man who would be a servant and protector of Kibler, and he fit that bill,” O’Kelley said.

Green started as the first and so far only chief of Kibler police on Jan. 1, 2003.

In 2003, Kibler had a population of about 820 people and today has 967, according to O’Kelley.

The department has two cars, one for Green and the other for non-paid part-time officers to use while on duty.

“It’s hard for a man to work for free,” he said. “He has to really love this to stay in it and not draw any income.”

The department has three part-time officers: Sgt. Justin Farquhar, a former Van Buren police officer who has served as a Kibler officer for about two years; Cpl. Stinten Parks, who has served two years; and officer Nick Shupert, who has been with the department since November.

“They’ve all done an outstanding job and in his few months, (Shupert) has worked hard and proven to be what we’re looking for,” Green said.

“(They) have full-time jobs, too,” he said. “They can’t be here 24/7; they’ve got to provide for their families, and in their spare time they give to the city of Kibler. It really takes a special person to be able to do that.”

Farquhar, who was born and raised in Kibler, said he contacted Green about helping out.

“I figured why not come out here and work part-time for the town I grew up in,” Farquhar said.

O’Kelley said Green is constantly vigilant.

“He’s went above and beyond the call of duty,” O’Kelley said. “He’s on duty seven days a week and 24 hours a day.”

Green, an active member of the Arkansas Association of Chiefs of Police since 2003, said like any other town or city, Kibler has its share of crime.

“We’ve had several good drug busts on traffic stops,” Green said.

Green said he and his officers have responded to domestic battery calls and investigated a homicide four years ago and a rape two years ago.

“There’s nothing we can’t do that other cities can,” he said. “We’ve handled it all, and I’m very proud of it.”

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