The Arkansas Department of Correction announced that all 11 members of the K-9 Division have graduated from the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy and now have arresting authority at the prison facilities since they are certified.

The Arkansas Department of Correction announced that all 11 members of the K-9 Division have graduated from the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy and now have arresting authority at the prison facilities since they are certified.

Sgt. Billy Hayes of Pine Bluff recently completed basic police training at ALETA in East Camden. A member of the ADC’s Central Office K-9 Division, he has worked for the department six years. He and his wife, Felicia, have four children.

“We are proud of Sgt. Hayes and all of ADC’s K-9 officers,” said Shea Wilson, ADC communications administrator. “The agency has achieved its goal of having all members of the Central Office’s K-9 Division police certified.”

It is beneficial for some ADC officers to have this authority because prison facilities are often faced with visitors who attempt to smuggle in contraband, such as tobacco, various drugs and cell phones, to inmates. Introducing a prohibited article into a correctional facility is a Class C felony in Arkansas.

Prior to the completion of police training by these officers, the ADC had to contact city and county law enforcement in the communities where prison facilities are located to have suspects arrested.