No call too small for Liberty police

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

LIBERTY — Liberty police chief Adam Gilstrap says he knows that his profession isn’t very popular right now in some areas.

But he also knows that he and his officers are doing the right thing and serving their community, in big ways and in small ways.

Gilstrap spoke about his department at the recent State of Liberty dinner sponsored by the new Liberty Area Chamber of Commerce.

“I tell people we’re a full-service, 24-hour police department,” Gilstrap said. “We answer every call. Every call we get will be answered — we go check it out. We don’t say, ‘Oh, that’s too small.’ Every call, small or big. From barking dogs to high grass calls, to you put your trash out too early or too late, get those trash cans back in. We get those calls and we go take care of them.”

He said he knows his officers have helped change tires and do other things for citizens. Recently, Gilstrap helped a woman get her tiller started after she flagged him down.

“That’s what we should be doing — taking care of people,” Gilstrap said. “It’s not all bad, it’s not chasing down the road, getting in fights with criminals. It’s our job. It’s what we do. We take it very seriously.”

Unfortunately, his officers have had to deal with some major crimes in the past couple of years as well, he said.

“We handle those, too,” Gilstrap said. “We’ve got a good group of officers right now. They’re fighting the good fight.”

He said his officers “are out there every month looking for the drug dealers, looking for the users.”

“Whether you believe or not, whether you realize it or not, that affects every single one of us,” Gilstrap said. “Sometimes we’re behind the 8-ball. Officers are really trying hard, in my opinion, going above and beyond.”

The department now has a K-9 program and an officer working on their K-9 certification, Gilstrap said.

“The K-9’s certified, the officer’s not,” he said. “He’s working hard on that.”

Having a K-9 unit will have a huge impact in the fight against drugs.

“Officers are doing a great job of finding the drugs, the illegal drugs,” Gilstrap said. “That’s going to be a great tool for us, to enhance that and move us forward.”

He thanked the community for its support of the K-9 program.

Recently, Eileen’s Grooming and Boarding held a fundraiser that raised more than $1,000 for the K-9 program — and then the business found a donor to match those funds.

“The community’s behind us and they support us, which is great,” Gilstrap said.

Gilstrap said the police department wants to help local businesses “and we want the businesses to help us.”

“Knowledge is power,” he said. “What you guys can tell us, it helps us tremendously. We’ve solved many a case by putting a picture out or asking for help from the community. If we can work together, we can all have a better life.”

He urged residents to give him a call when they have questions.

“There’s a lot of negativity, a lot of misconceptions out there,” Gilstrap said. “If you hear a rumor and you want to know, call me and I’ll tell you. I’d be happy to set it straight.”