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AAC


database containing the names of the officers who have been accused of violations or abuse and the allegation itself. Rec- ommendations from Subcommittee 2 are also represented in HB1197 filed by Rep. Carol Dalby and Sen. Dave Wallace. Te bill proposes to amend two codes in Title 12. It would re- strict the number of part-time law enforcement officers to two for each full-time officer. It also would amend Ark. Code § 12-9-602(b) on the notice to the Law Enforcement Commis- sion on Standards and Training for any notice of employment, appointment, or separation from employment of an officer to add if applicable: (1) the law enforcement officer retired while the subject of a pending internal investigation; (2) the law en- forcement officer was separated due to excessive use of force, and (3) the law enforcement officer was separated for dishon- esty or untruthfulness.


Subcommittee 3


Subcommittee 3 of the Task Force has expanded upon these community outreach needs by analyzing community policing efforts, including the impact of law enforcement officers liv- ing in the communities they serve. Chaired by Student Activ- ist Layla Holloway, the subcommittee consisted of 10 official members, who met approximately six times. With the help of Dr. Heather Yates from the University of Central Arkan- sas and Dr. Jennifer Adams at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, Holloway created a 19-question survey designed to measure community views of policing efforts, from which to base the committee’s analysis and recommendations to help mend the identified gaps. Tis survey was distributed state- wide by the Arkansas Municipal League to mayors who then distributed the survey to their constituents and law enforce- ment agencies, in addition to posting it on social media plat- forms. Tere also was a Spanish version of the survey in order to include Hispanic communities. From these survey results, the subcommittee discovered on- going collaboration and engagement with minority communi- ties may help reestablish trust between law enforcement and Arkansans. Combining this process of dynamic discourse with data analysis of citizen and law enforcement opinions, the guesswork of the citizen’s standpoint on law enforcement and community relationships was removed. As such, the two main recommendations made were centered on 1) including a cer- tain number of hours to be part of the voluntary community engagement programs; and 2) requiring there to be intentional and specific efforts to mend the gap between minority com- munities, recognizing that not every community is the same in these needs. Holloway said by using the survey data to aid in formulating recommendations, “it was pretty eye opening for everyone. We did a lot of great things, and I think we did go forward. I believe, for the country, we set a tone and made a model for how other states can go about their Task Force if they choose to do so.” Official recommendations made by Subcommittee 3:


COUNTY LINES, WINTER 2021


COVER STORY


• Law enforcement recruits should be required dur- ing training to accumulate a certain number of hours within local communities, to observe and interact with community members. CLEST will credit officers with training hours for their participation in community en- gagement events.


• Law enforcement agencies should develop intentional efforts with minority community organizations (com- munity leaders, non-profit programs, faith-based pro- grams, business, etc.) to assess the needs of minority communities and to rebuild trust that will increase pub- lic safety for all Arkansans.


Subcommittee 4 Subcommittee 4 focused on the concerns of recruitment


statewide and the obstacles for recruitment, hiring, and reten- tion of law enforcement officers, which have been long-stand- ing issues across the country. Tis subcommittee also used a survey to gauge the opinions of Arkansas law enforcement ad- ministrators on the obstacles in their profession from a struc- tural standpoint. Results gathered from 74 survey responses showed the biggest hurdle in recruitment of officers to be: 1) low salary, at 89.2 percent and 2) lack of qualified applicants, at 81.1 percent. Te biggest hurdle in retention of officers was found to be low salary, at 95.9 percent. In addition to the data collected, the subcommittee conducted in-depth assessments of Arkansas law enforcement, CLEST, State of Arkansas Law Enforcement: Health Insurance Coverage, Law Enforcement Resiliency Programs, Law Enforcement Educational Oppor- tunities, and Arkansas Law Enforcement Retirement Systems in order to make recommendations. Official recommendations made by Subcommittee 4:


• Tat state, local, and county governing bodies reappro- priate funding to ensure that entry-level salaries for law enforcement officers are equivalent to or above the aver- age annual wage in Arkansas.


• Tat incremental salary increases for law enforcement officers be equivalent in their years of service, rank, and responsibilities.


• Te proposal of legislation to exempt a portion of an ac- tive, full-time law enforcement officer’s salary from state income taxes.


• Tat CLEST work with subject matter experts to en- sure that CLEST Rule 1002 provides the following assessments: comprehensive psychological assessments regarding aggression, implicit and racial bias pre-screen- ing; physical fitness assessments; extensive character, employment, and criminal background investigations; and current bias assessments to better evaluate that law enforcement candidates are physically, emotionally, and mentally fit to serve.


See “BLUE” on Page 30 >>> 29


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