A man who used to serve as a local constable has been arrested for impersonating a police officer.
"We're not quite sure how far he's gone and what things he's been involved in... He, in fact, was an ex-law enforcement official who currently holds no status at any department or arrest powers," said Benton County Sheriff Kelley Cradduck.
According to Cradduck, 65-year-old Tommy Clowers was once an officer at Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport. He also served as a constable in Washington County before losing his re-election in 2012.
"As they meet he critieria for a constable, they can make arrests and write citations, but in this case he clearly does not have that right anymore and is not holding any elected position."
According to reports, a deputy saw Clowers' car while patroling in Bentonville on January 18th. The gold sedan had a badge decal on the door that read "civil officer" and had a light bar. Cradduck said they got a report that same day from a driver who had been pulled over in Rogers by someone wearing a sewn-on badge and claiming to be the real deal.
"When asked for identification to prove that he was actually a law enforcement official, he couldn't provide it and actually fled the scene."
Benton County Sheriff's deputies took Clowers into custody Friday afternoon, and searched his house in Springdale. In addition to the gold sedan, Clowers also had a blue truck with a light bar and "civil officer" badge on it.
"The search warrant was intended to look for items that might be used for impersonating an officer, uniforms, weapons, insignias, ticketbooks."
Our crews spotted a gun, radar and several other official items being taken out of the trunk.
"I'm actually very surprised at the way that he was pretty brazen about it and had his car marked with a law enforcement insignia, making traffic stops, making contact with individuals," said Sheriff Cradduck.
But he does not want Clowers' decisions to cast a bad light on all constables.
"I would ask that the public not have a knee jerk reaction to this and simply realize that this is just some misguided actions by one individual."
Clowers is in the Benton County Jail, facing a felony charge for impersonating a police officer and a misdemeanor charge for operating blue lights.
Sheriff Cradduck is asking that anyone who thinks they may have been pulled over by Clowers to contact the Sheriff's office at 479-271-1008, as there may be additional charges.
also reminded folks if a traffic stop seems suspicious, to first call
911 and ask the dispatcher to confirm the person pulling you over is a
certified officer. If not, drive to a safe location and stay on the
phone with authorities until they arrive. Also, do not hesitate to ask
officers to produce credentials if they are not immediately visible.
This is ones of the cars deputies say the suspect used to pull people over.