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  • Cydney Thompson, Northeast Arkansas News

Law enforcement task force meets in Jonesboro

The group met for the fourth time today at the embassy suites' red wolf convention to discuss policy changes and it was mentioned several times how funding being available will help meet some of those needs.

“It’s just more of an informative meeting to tell them what we do and what we can do, and we threw it to them to see what recommendation the task force will have at the end,” Trumann police Chief Chadwick Henson.

The recommendations today were for a developing model policy for states law enforcement and an accreditation body for departments.

They also touched on the importance of having a crisis stabilization unit available to help those with mental health concerns.

Once the task force understands this accreditation they would then move to the next step, which is to recommend certain standers.

“They brought up chokeholds, duty to intervene, standards like that, that we can adopt in our program to help with that I think we’re waiting for that recommendation,” Henson said.

Chief Henson strongly suggests that student resource officers in schools should start teaching a class to help students understand law enforcement's role in the community.

“To teach them at an early age when their brains are developing what a law enforcement officer does and cannot do. They’re not there just to arrest, they’re not just there to give you a citation they’re there to help you, they’re public servants. We need to be teaching that in our schools,” Henson said.

One major concern that was heavily touched on was the availability of funding to enforce these recommendations.

Henson says the task force has been a great help in the last few month because change is needed to grow.

“There is not a law enforcement officer that is not waiting again with batted breathe to see what the recommendations are because we have changed so much in the last 5 years, 10 years and 20 years, so change is in our lexicon. So, we’re willing to do it, we just need to know the answers, we just need to know what society wants us to do and we’ll do it,” Henson said.

The task force will send its final recommendations to Governor Hutchinson by December 31st. The work of the task force will be completed after the submission of the final report.


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