Arkansas police chief takes pay cut to pay for school resource officer

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PALESTINE, Ark. (WMC) - A police chief is being praised for doing something completely selfless and giving up part of his paycheck to protect a school and its students.

Chief Blake Hudson took a 20% pay cut to bring on a full-time school resource officer. He said it was the right decision. (Source: WMC)

Palestine Police Chief Blake Hudson was looking to add a school resource officer at the Palestine-Wheatley K-12 school since he took the position a little more than a year ago.

He went to the city and the school district asking for the necessary funds with no success.

“It’s a small town, we didn’t have the funds to bring on another full-time officer and that’s when I made the decision to cut my pay," Hudson said.

Hudson took a 20% cut in his salary to be able to promote a part-time officer to a full-time school resource officer.

“I feel like as long as I can still provide for my family, why not take that cut? So that I can do what needs to be done to make sure that the kids are protected in school," Hudson said.

Superintendent of the Palestine-Wheatley School District Jon Estes, says the school would not have had a resource officer this year or in the near future without Hudson’s selfless act.

“It adds a sense of security. I’m not sure if he’s had any action. I hope he has the most boring job in St. Francis County," said Estes. "I hope he doesn’t have to do anything. But to be able to look and see the cop car sitting there at all times and know that our kids are safe and protected is priceless.”

Adding the resource officer was not priceless to Hudson, whose two sons attend the school, but he says it’s well worth it.

“I’ve had people call me, email me, text me, 'Thank you, thank you for looking out for our kids.' I feel like that’s what a police department is about," said Hudson. “It’s not me doing it, it’s just what the department should be doing.”

For Hudson, the officer adds peace of mind and positive law enforcement interaction with the youth. Although it did make his wallet a little thinner, he says he made the right decision.

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