Chris Cooper Managing Editor
May 22, 2014
Russellville Mayor Mark Stratton is very proud of his police force and the job they do every day risking their lives for the community. A recent incident, however, makes him bust his buttons even more, as officers displayed not only exemplary police skills, but also kindness and understanding.
A few weeks ago, according to mayor Stratton, there was a vehicle passing through town with an elderly driver who was unaware that he had no taillights. Russellville Police Officer Morris Kisselbaugh pulled over the gentleman to warn him of the problem. When asked for his driver’s license, it was discovered that the driver did not have one on him. He also had no credit cards or cash. It was later discovered the vehicle was registered to a woman in Tupelo, Miss.
Upon further checking, said mayor Stratton, the gentleman was an 88-year-old dementia/Alzheimer’s man from Tupelo, Miss. that had left home in his wife’s car to go to a location on Jackson Street in Tupelo.
“He had been missing for a day-and-a-half and the whole town of Tupelo had turned out to search for him,” said mayor Stratton. “He had been the chief of police there for 26 years and then the county sheriff, according to his son.”
His son, a doctor, was among family members that drove through the night to get him, said mayor Stratton. They arrived at 5 a.m. at Logan Memorial Hospital. The elderly gentleman was dehydrated, tired and hungry. The hospital staff rehydrated him and let him sleep there in the ER until they arrived.
“His major worry was that his wife would sure be sore at him,” mayor Stratton said.
“I have to give our police officers credit, they did an awesome job once again,” said administrative Captain Roger Mcdonald of the Russellville Police Department. “This is the good side of policing. We don’t always handle arrests; sometimes we get a chance to help families such as this.”
Mayor Stratton says this incident exemplifies the type of law enforcement personnel the community has not only in Russellville but the county as well.
“That is what is so unique about a small town, the caring people who live here. I think they did a great job,” said mayor Stratton.