Mayor Mike Gaskill and Police Chief Todd Stovall of Paragould, Arkansas are about to get tough on crime. Like, really tough. According to the Paragould Daily Press, Gaskill and Stovall addressed a few dozen citizens at a recent town hall meeting to inform them that the town's Street Crimes Unit will begin patrolling the town to check everyone's ID. Oh, and they'll occasionally have AR-15s hanging around their necks.

"[Police are] going to be in SWAT gear and have AR-15s around their neck," [Police Chief Todd] Stovall said. "If you're out walking, we're going to stop you, ask why you're out walking, check for your ID."

Stovall didn't back down when his new tactics were compared to Martial Law.

Stovall said he did not consult an attorney before announcing his plans to combat crime. He even remained undaunted when comparing his proposed tactics with martial law, explaining that "I don't know that there's ever been a difference" between his proposals and martial law.

There are multiple town halls planned where the police intend to inform the public on the specifics on their plans. The police later clarified their intentions in a statement released online. It reads, in part:

Many citizens, through various media outlets, have expressed a concern about the police "violating rights" or "violating the Constitution".  We have to abide by the same rules, regulations, and laws that our citizens do.  We are not out to violate anyone's rights.  Once we have an area that shows a high crime rate or a high call volume, it is our duty and obligation to find out why this is occurring and what we can do to prevent the trend from continuing.  Therefore, identifying subjects in those problem areas help us to solve crimes, and hopefully to prevent future crimes.

UPDATE: The Paragould Police Department has canceled the two town hall meetings that they had planned to use as forums to explain the new policies. Police Chief Todd Stovall, though, wouldn't give further comment to the Paragould Daily Press, saying that the PPD's press release on Sunday speaks for itself. [Paragould Daily Press]