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Independence County Chief Deputy Jeff Sims passes at age 44

The second in command at the Independence County Sheriff’s Department was found by a relative Saturday, March 17, deceased, in bed.  

Chief Deputy Jeff Sims was 44 years old.

Batesville Police Chief Alan Cockrill, one of the first to answer the call to Bryant Street in Batesville, said foul play is not suspected.

Sims was loved and respected by members of his department and other law enforcement members in the area that worked or dealt with him.  He served as security at the White River Medical Center before joining the sheriff’s department.

His death came as a shock to sheriff’s department personnel.  Chief Cockrill said his department personnel along with Jackson County deputies and the Arkansas State Police are helping with law enforcement in the county to relieve bereaved deputies.

Chief Cockrill said it’s been a tough year in this area for the law enforcement community: four officers dead, including two this month.

Get up-to-date local and regional news along with the latest weather every weekday morning by listening to Gary B. and Ozark Newsline on Arkansas 103.3 KWOZ93 KZLE, and other W.R.D. Entertainment radio stations. If you have a news tip or event to promote, email White River Now at


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