The support of Tommy May, who is retiring from Simmons First National Bank at the end of the month, has been a big boost to public safety agencies in Pine Bluff and Jefferson County, according to both the Sheriff’s Department and Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Services.

The support of Tommy May, who is retiring from Simmons First National Bank at the end of the month, has been a big boost to public safety agencies in Pine Bluff and Jefferson County, according to both the Sheriff’s Department and Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Services.


Major Lafayette Woods Jr., operations commander for the sheriff’s department, said May was instrumental in the department acquiring four drop boxes for prescription drugs that will soon be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


"Mr. May got involved after the sheriff and I went to a meeting where we first heard about the permanent drop boxes and started looking for funds to pay for them," Woods said. "We met with him and he wanted to know all about the dimensions of the boxes, the prices and after he got that information, he said ‘lets make it happen.’"


Because May is on a variety of medications, Woods said May was aware of the potential for abuse of prescription medicine, and thought it important that people be able to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or expired on a regular basis, rather than the once or twice per year that National Drug Take Back events are held.


"He also followed up to make sure that the boxes had been purchased and delivered, and when we set one up before the last drug take back event, he was the first person to drop off some of his old prescriptions," Woods said.


One of the four boxes will be located in the new Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department building, which is under construction adjacent to the adult detention center, and Woods said the department is currently looking for permanent locations for the others.


"Mr. May has also kept up with some of our other programs like Adopted Grandparents and Operation Lifesaver and been supportive of them," Woods said. "We want to wish Mr. May the best on what is a well deserved retirement."


May and others at Simmons First National Bank have also been big supporters of fire prevention efforts, Fire and Emergency Services Chief Shauwn Howell said.


"It was a partnership between the department and Simmons that allowed us to buy the fire safety house and without them, we wouldn’t have been able to buy it," Howell said. "We’ve been blessed to have his support and of a lot of other members of the Simmons family on a number of other ventures as well and we’re very thankful for that."


Howell said those other ventures included financial support for the department’s smoke detector program as well as for other programs.


"When we have reached out to the community for help, Mr. May and Simmons have always been there," Howell said. "It’s been great working with him and we wish him a lot of happiness in his retirement."