Ash Flat will continue to have police protection after hiring Mike Zeiger as chief of police.
Zeiger will officially begin his new position June 1. He will replace former chief Shane Meyer who recently announced he had accepted a position with the Arkansas State Police.
"I think it's going to be wonderful," Zeiger said. "It's kind of 'out with the old and in with the new.'"
Zeiger worked as a Sharp County deputy from September 2000 until he resigned to take the position with the city.
"We're thrilled to have Mike coming on as our new chief," Mayor Brien Nix Hall said. "He is a lifelong resident of Sharp County, along with his family. People already know him."
Zeiger said it will take some time to get the department organized and implement some changes, including having the auxiliary and reserve officers work more hours. He also said he wants the department to work closely with other law enforcement agencies in the area.
Zeiger said he wants to have a capable department in tune with the community.
"For a while we're going to slow down and police the people," Zeiger said. "I want a cross between the LAPD and Mayberry. I want the equipment and training of LAPD but the personal aspect of Mayberry, and I think we can have it."
Meyer was named chief in November 2003 after Hall fired former chief Rickey Crook.
"Mike's coming in here with a fresh slate and new, innovative ideas," Hall said. "He's eager and excited about his position."
So far, Zeiger is the only officer in the police department which ideally operates with two additional officers.
Meyer had patrolled the city alone and responded to all calls after officer Tim McComas resigned from his position in April. Soon after, Meyer fired officer Brock McIntosh 35 days after McIntosh began working for the city.
At a special council meeting May 24 the council voted to pay the chief, not named at the time, $24,000 a year. If the chief would choose to relocate to Ash Flat the council agreed to pay him an additional $1,000 a year.