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Governors Police Task Force releases recommendations

JONESBORO, Ark- Over the past six months, 24 members of the task force, including Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd developed 27 recommendations about how to improve officer accountability, and police and community relations.

“It was a very tough six months that we spent meeting and having some in-depth discussions that frankly were tough discussions at times. But we presented 27 findings to the governor that we felt would advance the state of law enforcement. They range from community involvement to legislative items,” says Craighead County Sheriff and task force member Marty Boyd.

Recommendations include lowering the retirement requirement for police officers from 30 to 28 years.

Another is having 2 full-time officers for every part-time officer, as part-time officers don’t receive the same training as their full- time counterparts.

The 30-year law enforcement veteran says changes need to occur.

“There is no one out there that wants the bad law enforcement off the streets than a good law enforcement officer. We realize we are going to affect some departments when we make these recommendations. But we feel that the accountability part and making sure that the law enforcement community is professional, and they have that accountability. We have guidelines that we need to stay with them and adhere to them,” says Sheriff Boyd.

The task force was formed last summer by Gov. Hutchinson in response to protests across the country following the death of George Floyd.

Members include community leaders, law enforcement, and elected officials.

Sheriff Boyd calls it an eye-opening experience.

“There were 24 task force members, I believe, and we came from all walks of life, so seeing that different perspective is always good,” says Sheriff Boyd.

Sheriff Boyd says he hopes this will help bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community.

Moving forward Gov. Hutchinson will present the findings and some recommendations in the next legislative session.


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