Governor Hutchinson's Police Task Force meets for the first time
CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, Ark- The Governor’s Police Task Force met for the first time this week to discuss intentions and plan for their next steps.
The task force includes three people from Northeast Arkansas, including Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd, Blytheville Mayor James Sanders, and Executive Director of the Hispanic Center of Jonesboro, Gina Gomez.
“We are going to review and see ways and find ways on how we can improve proceedings that are happening right now,” says Police Task Force member, Gina Gomez. “We also will add suggestions and comments on how to improve law enforcement in the state. It is a very diverse committee.”
Gomez says she is honored to represent the Hispanic community.
She says four subcommittees have been created.
She says she is part of one researching community, racial relations and another looking at law enforcement training, policies and standards.
Gomez will also look at areas of retention and hiring in police departments.
Another subcommittee, that is chaired by Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd is responsible for accountability in law enforcement.
The committee will look at what levels of punishments are there when an officer is charged with a crime and making sure they are held accountable.
Gomez says they want to see action taken with their suggestions.
The 25-member group met in Fort Smith yesterday for the first time.
Governor Hutchinson created the police task force to look into police practices across the state.
Sheriff Boyd says he hopes this will improve community and law enforcement relations.
“It’s not about one group and this group or anything like that,” says Sheriff Boyd. “It’s about respecting one another as human beings, the way God intended us to be. I believe Arkansas has very good standards and policies in place, but they have not been reviewed in several years so this is needed just to make sure we are current on some of the new developments that came around.”
Sheriff Boyd says it’s an honor to be part of the task force, he and Gomez say they welcome suggestions and input regarding the task force from members of the community.
The group will meet multiple times per month as they prepare to present Governor Hutchinson their findings in December.