Who We Are
The Bella Vista Police Department Patrol Division consists of uniformed officers working three shifts. Each shift has one sergeant and one corporal to supervise daily operations and duties.
Officers are equipped and ready to respond to all types of calls, and are on the street 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They operate a fleet of marked pursuit vehicles, including Ford Explorer Police Interceptors, Dodge Chargers and Chevy Tahoes.
Each officer is required to complete 16 hours of training per year, including classes and certification courses in Tasers, less-lethal ammunition, radar, firearms, bias-based policing and more. However, Bella Vista Police Department training exceeds this annually, with about 40 hours of in-house training plus additional specialized training. In-house classes are taught by employees of the department who are also state-certified instructors. Many officers within the department have completed specialized training and certification in areas including accident reconstruction, crime scene technician and drug recognition.
Criminal Investigation Division
While each has a specialty, detectives work together to tackle the city’s crimes. In recent years, the cases in Bella Vista have increased in frequency and severity. Property crimes remain the most reported cases. One of the most reported crimes is theft from vehicles. These crimes most frequently occur late at night in the residential areas. They can be easily prevented by locking your car and removing valuables from the car.
Dispatch Division personnel answer emergency and non-emergency calls for police, fire and medical assistance. They work in three shifts 24 hours per day, seven days a week.
Dispatchers are highly trained to relay information to ensure a speedy response. They are also able to remain on the line with callers to give life-saving lessons such as step-by-step CPR instructions or how to stop severe bleeding. They will monitor and relay severe weather information, and contact officials from outside entities if needed, such as the water and electric companies.
The Bella Vista Communications Center is one of the state’s most technologically advanced centers, including ergonomic console furniture and touch screen control of the radio system. The center is a secondary 911 PSAP and receives information directly from Smart 911.
Dispatchers are also on the front line of three programs offered through the Police Department for the benefit of city residents: Vacation House Watch, Operation Good Morning and Project Lifesaver.
Bella Vista has two K9 units. Both dogs are Belgian Malinois and are highly intelligent. They are specially trained with their handlers to work together to locate narcotics, serve warrants, search for lost subjects or apprehend suspects. They are also specially trained to protect their handlers, and serve as these officers' partners on scene.
K9 officers live with their handlers, and spend each shift with them in a specially designed pursuit vehicle. The patrol cars are outfitted for the dog’s protection against the extreme cold or hot, and the handlers wear a device on their duty belts that will advise them of dangerous conditions. The device also allows the handlers to remotely open the door to the vehicles and release the dog in the event the handlers need help.
While not a danger to the general public, K9 officers are working dogs, and for their safety, adults and children should not approach the animal and try to pet him or her. These dogs are considered certified police officers with the department.
Officer Hixson and K9 Huk
K9 Huk (far right) is the department’s third certified police K9. He began working the street in November 2019.
Officer Jaro and K9 Rip
K9 Rip, the department's fourth certified K9, began working the street in May 2022.
The department’s first certified K9, Camo, worked from June 2010 until he retired in November 2016. The second certified K9, Cabo, retired in May 2022.