Jericho chief reacts to speed trap criticism: ‘I’m tired of being a small black town and being picked on’

JERICHO, Ark. -- Driving in to Jericho, a town with population 184, the speed limit drops from 55 to 45 miles per hour.

People who live in Jericho said it's necessary.

“It’s for safety because all the houses and things are on the road there," Elvis Young said.

It’s also part of why Police Chief Roy Hill said his officers always patrol Highway 77.

“There is a problem," Hill said.

But Crittenden County Sheriff Mike Allen told the local paper he was hoping the state took action against Jericho for being a speed trap.

The Evening Times reported the department gave out 1,187 tickets between 2015 and 2017. That averages out to less than two a day.

WREG called Sheriff Allen for an explanation, but he said he had no comment and hung up.

Chief Hill said the sheriff is targeting his department, but he said it has nothing to do with speed.

“I’m tired of it. I’m tired of being a small black town and being picked on. That’s all it is,” Hill said.

Hill said his officers do everything by the book; they all are certified in radar use and want to slow people down on this state highway that runs right through town. He showed us their radar certificates..

“To sandblast these small black towns, shame on y’all," he said.

People who live there said they hadn’t had issues with police.

“They just do their job whatever they’re supposed to,” one woman said.

But Crittenden County Judge Woody Wheeless told WREG he did get pulled over in Jericho. He thought the officer clocked him before he entered city limits.

The chief disputed that and said his officers position themselves in the middle of town.

Hill was very emotional during the interview and said his officers only ever have issues with people who say they're friends with the sheriff.