AAC Blue

COVER STORY what the officer is not seeing)

• Ethics (going above the law to protect the highest stan- dard in duty)

• Duty to intervene (holding every officer to the highest standard in duty)

• Cultural competency (consisting of cultural decorum, customs, religious practices, and slang)

• De-Escalation (how to bring a situation under control) • Crisis Intervention Training (reducing the risk of injury to mentally ill persons and law enforcement)

• Maintain and expand awareness and use of the estab- lished Arkansas CSUs to allow for better public access, both in and outside of law enforcement and/or com- munity mental health providers

• For CLEST, increase the mandatory annual racial bias training component of continuing education from two hours to four hours.

• Law enforcement agencies within Arkansas should seek out and apply for federal, state, and local funding to aid in the implementation of state-of-the-art body cameras, as well as adequate server storage to aid in better sur- veillance for all agencies. Specifically, the subcommittee advocated for funding legislation that helps ensure all front-line duty officers will be wearing state of the art body cameras by 2026.

• Create a strong multi-lingual “Know Your Rights and What to Do When You’re Pulled Over” campaign that is coordinated at the state and local levels to increase community trust, knowledge, and awareness.

• County and local law enforcement agencies should work with community organizational leaders and aca- demic institutions to study and analyze any potential negative impacts of a 287(g) program, including any unintended consequences associated with rebuilding community trust among minority populations.

Tese recommendations took form in the 2021 Legislative

Session as Senate Bills 292 and 346, filed by Sen. Jason Rap- ert. SB292 represents Establishing the Public Safety Equipment Grant Program administered by the Department of Public Safe- ty. If passed, this bill will allow Secretary Cook to grant money to local law enforcement specifically for the purpose of provid- ing non-lethal equipment and to support detention centers and correction through the process of accreditation. Tis bill aims to improve communication and transparency with Arkansas citizens. SB346 represents Retention of Audio/Visual Media by Law Enforcement Agencies and addresses the use of audiovisual media by law enforcement and the how long this media must be


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retained. Tis bill also will improve body camera retention and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Subcommittee 2 Subcommittee 2 placed its emphasis on accountability in

relation to community policing and interactions, in addition to the review of President Donald Trump’s Executive Order on “Safe Policing for Safe Communities.” Two key ideas discussed in these meetings were 1) developing a database with public access to complaints relating to law enforcement officers and their resolutions, and 2) how to speed up the de-certification process. Te hope for this component is to remove the “bad officers’’ through de-certification at a faster rate than the system currently facilitates. To that effect, as stated by Chairman Boyd, “No one wants a bad policeman off the street more than the good policemen.” As such, this subcommittee made six recommendations to the Governor stemming from clarifying

policy ver-

biage and enforcing strict standards on the transparen- cy of discipline and decertifi- cation. For instance, the Task Force proposed new catego- ries to specify in the reporting requirements if an officer was separated for excessive use of force, or if separated for dis- honesty and untruthfulness. Tese recommendations will build upon and help improve the various existing programs for law enforce-

Craighead County Sheriff and AAC Board Member Marty Boyd was chairman of the Task Force’s Subcomittee 2.

— Photo by Holland Doran

ment and community interactions organized and run by Ar- kansas sheriffs. Devoted to serving the state of Arkansas and its citizens, the sheriffs organize and participate in community outreach programs to aid access, communication, and un- derstanding between Arkansas citizens and law enforcement. Community engagement events include hosting educational forums on workplace violence and neighborhood crime watch, “Shop with a Cop,” “Roadside Trash Pick-up,” “Polar Bear Plunge,” and “Cereal Drive and Badges for Backpacks Food Drive.” In addition, sheriffs participate in food delivery and Pantry Box programs. With these programs, Arkansas sheriffs

See “BLUE” on Page 28 >>> COUNTY LINES, WINTER 2021

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