By Jeri Pearson
Mena Police Chief Tommy Stuart was recognized last week by Congressman Bruce Westerman for his accomplishments in running the police department successfully during the COVID pandemic by Congressman Bruce Westerman during the Hometown Heroes Tour.
“Every community in the Fourth District has a Hometown Hero worth celebrating,” Westerman said. “As neighbors, co-workers, and friends, we see their kindness and feel the impact of their work each day. These community members are the life-blood of our district.”
Westerman’s hometown tour aimed to highlight and honor incredible people and the work they have done to help their neighbors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stuart humbly accepted the award and gave credit to his officers and staff for their diligence in preserving through the changes brought by COVID.
“It changed the way we worked calls and required additional procedures and measure to ensure the safety of our officers and the public,” Stuart said. “What was most important was the community continued to know we were present and available and our guys did a great job and going the extra mile.”
The congressman said it was fantastic to be in Arkansas last week to honor people across the district as “Hometown Heroes.”
“Several weeks ago, my office and I posted on social media asking for Fourth District residents to nominate those who had gone above and beyond to serve their communities in the past year,” Westerman said. “Dozens of stories were submitted, and some people were even nominated more than once. After an incredibly difficult year, it was heartwarming to read these stories and visit with those who have poured their time and energy back into their communities.”
Westerman met with people from all different backgrounds – law enforcement, educators, restaurant owners, pharmacists, church employees, and others.
“In speaking to each person this week, one common theme was shared amongst them all, and that is that they could not have done the work they did without the help and support of many other people along the way. I think this speaks volumes.”
Arkansas’ Fourth District covers 33 counties from the Ozark Mountains all the way down to the Louisiana state border.
“Several counties are quite different from others, whether that be in leading industry, population size, or even the geography,” Westerman said. “When you put those things aside, our large district shares the same resilient spirit, driven largely by many of the Hometown Heroes I met this week. These Heroes and many others like them are the lifeblood of our communities and the reason that Arkansas is a fantastic place to live.”