Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the establishment of the Law Enforcement Task Force to study and analyze the best practices and procedures for recruiting, training and maintaining law enforcement officers in Arkansas, according to a June 9 news release.
Members include Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington, civic leaders, community activists and law enforcement officials in Arkansas.
The Associated Press reported that Hutchinson created the panel in response to days of protests in Arkansas and nationwide over George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.
The governor’s news release said the task force was formed to advance the state of law enforcement in Arkansas.
“The task force will make recommendations to the governor on enhancing trust between law enforcement and communities, and improvements or changes needed to enhance the profession of law enforcement to ensure compliance with standards,” according to the release.
The panel will make its final recommendations to Hutchinson by Dec. 31. Their work will be concluded upon submission of that final report.
“This is not going to be a static task force,” Hutchinson said. “It’s going to be dynamic. It’s going to be listening to the community. It’s going to be addressing the serious issues that we’ve seen reflected across the country.”
The governor said the task force’s duties will include examining the accountability of officers who don’t meet standards, as well as the possible creation of a statewide public database of complaints against law enforcement officers, according to the Associated Press.
TASK FORCE MEMBERS:
The task force includes Chairman Fred Weatherspoon, deputy director of the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy; members Percy Wilburn, vice chairman of Arkansas Commission of Law Enforcement Standards and Training; Jami Cook, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Public Safety; Shirley Washington, Mayor of Pine Bluff; James Sanders, Mayor of Blytheville; Tim Helder, Sheriff of Washington County;
Scott Hamilton, chief executive officer and president of Urban League of the State of Arkansas; Rosa Velasquez, Arkansas United; KenDrell Collins, assistant federal public defender; Bob McMahan, Arkansas Office of Prosecutor Coordinator; Jimmy Warren, citizen activist, Conway; Emma Davis, citizen activist, Van Buren; Tim Campbell, citizen activist, Little Rock; Layla Holloway, citizen activist, Van Buren;
Representatives from Arkansas Association of Chiefs of Police, Arkansas Sheriff’s Association, Arkansas Black Mayor’s Association, Arkansas State Police; and additional citizens as the governor deems necessary.