Atkins Patrolman Dolphus Schmelzla (Photo: Atkins Police Dept.)
ATKINS, Ark. (KTHV) - The Atkins Police Department announced Friday they have lost one of their own.
Patrolman Dolphus Schmelzla died Aug. 29 from injures he got in a motor vehicle accident on his way to work. The wreck happened at the intersection of E. Main St. and Tyler Rd. in Russellville. Police Chief Tim Whittenburg said a car apparently came in off of a side street and hit his vehicle; the Russellville Police Department is investigating.
Atkins police say Officer Schmelzla has over 20 years of law enforcement experience. He began his career in Yell County at the Sheriff's Office where he worked for approximately one year. He then worked for the Ola Police Department for two years and the Morrilton Police Department for two years before beginning his career at the Atkins Police Department where he has been employed since March of 2001. Whittenburg said he mainly worked on night patrol.
In a press release, the department said, "Dolphus was a great officer who will be missed tremendously by the Atkins Police Department, as well as other law enforcement agencies around the area. We ask that you keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."
According to Pope County Sheriff's Office administrative assistant Sarah Peyton, the Southern States Police Benevolence Fund and the Atkins Police Department worked together to create an account at River Town Bank for the Schmelzla family. If you wish to donate, you may do so by contacting any branch of River Town Bank and referencing account number 1405543.
Whittenburg said the funeral is open to the public and is at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Restoration Church in Russellville.