Friday, May 13, 2011

Police Chief Price to Cougars: Declawed!

HELENA-WEST HELENA- For almost five years, the City of Helena-West Helena has shown its support for the Central High School Cougars by sporting Central Cougar decals on all city vehicles that were provided at no cost by the Helena-West Helena Booster Club.  The Inside Scoop Online has learned through multiple sources that Police Chief Ray Price, who has been on the job less than five months, has ordered the removal of all the Cougar decals from the police cars.

The thoughts of Police Chief Ray Price!
The reasoning for such a move to insult the city's largest and only public high school remains elusive.  When reached by phone to discuss the move, Price hung up the phone after the reporter identified himself.  He wasn't even courteous enough to say no comment.  Attempts to reach Mayor Arnell Willis were unsuccessful by press time.

However, The Inside Scoop Online has learned that not all departments have taken this approach.  Vehicles from the other departments still have the decals on them.  At least one other department head was reached and said that there were no plans to remove them.

Booster Club Secretary Andrew Bagley was shocked and surprised by the move.  He said, "Many cities show their support for their school through things of this nature.  They range from window decals to license plate holders, to art on the city's water towers.  We have had a lot of support from the consolidated city over the years.  We are very thankful to those departments that remain supportive.  I have no idea why Chief Price would take such a hostile position to the Cougars.  However, it is ridiculous.  The Cougars bear the city's name.  They are our public school.  I can't imagine why a Police Chief would do this unless he either wants the Cougars to lose or prefers another school.  I think this is an example of poor leadership.  Instead of trying to show disdain for the Cougars he ought to be focusing on crime fighting strategies."

Bagley went on to say, "I hope to have a conversation with Mayor Willis about this matter.  Mr. Willis graduated from Central in 1973 so we can only hope that he will order Chief Price to reverse his position.  If he does not, I am sure that will be reported as well.  I want to see the City, the Cougars, and their Boosters have a good working relationship as we did during the Valley Administration.  However, things have not been encouraging to date."

Individuals wishing to support the HWH Booster Club and its efforts to give Cougar teams the things they need to be competitive can contact the club at  Membership applications can be downloaded at and dues can be mailed with applications to PO Box 2774; West Helena, AR 72390.

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