Deputy Chris Winberry has resigned from the Hot Spring County Police Department amidst a criminal investigation that is being conducted by the Grand Jury in the Western District of Arkansas and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. According to Sheriff Mike Cash, “the investigation centers on whether the former deputy used excessive force when making some arrests.”
Former Deputy Winberry resigned from his position on Fri. August 27. His resignation email, which was delivered to Chief Deputy Richard Tolleson, includes the following statement: “With the current political climate that’s effecting myself and family, I don’t feel like I can hold my position any longer.”
In reference to the alleged crimes in question, Sheriff Cash said “I take claims about excessive force seriously.” He went on to say that he cares first and foremost about his town and that his “overriding concern is always protecting the public.”
Cash believes in governing his departments and has no qualms about looking into reported issues. “It is never a problem for me personally or for our internal investigat[ors] to review the actions within the department,” Sheriff Cash said.
While Cash does his best to ensure the safety of the public and always attempts to direct his departments in the ways of best practice, he recognizes that sometimes outside consultation is imperative. “We are always ready to bring in the state police,” Cash said. “Thankfully, these are procedures that are seldom needed.”
The events surrounding Winberry and interactions with citizens that have been suspected as including excessive force concern six individuals with incidents dating back to early 2020 and as recently as this past month.
It is important to note that no charges have been brought against Chris Winberry as of yet. The investigation is still ongoing and the Malvern Daily Record will publish information on the case as it is made available.