Despite pleas from Alderman Glen Brown, the majority of the Pine Bluff City Council on Monday approved an ordinance that transfers five city inspectors to the police department.

Despite pleas from Alderman Glen Brown, the majority of the Pine Bluff City Council on Monday approved an ordinance that transfers five city inspectors to the police department.


The measure — opposed by Brown and Ward 1 Alderwoman Thelma Walker — also creates of a quality of life division within the Pine Bluff Police Department to house the five code enforcement inspectors who are being transferred from the inspection and zoning department.


Brown said that he saw no need for such a transfer.


"This is being framed as an improvement to the quality of life of Pine Bluff residents," Brown said. "I don’t see how shifting inspectors from one department to another increases the quality of life of our residents."


Pine Bluff Police Chief Jeff Hubanks said in September that problem property owners will find themselves on the defensive under the new system.


"The inspectors will have instant access to a police officer and, in fact, they will probably have an officer go out with them when they know they are going into one of these areas that have high calls for service," Hubanks said last month.


The ordinance assigns one police lieutenant and one patrolman to the new division, which will be supervised by the deputy chief of police for community relations.


The five environmental quality officers are responsible for responding to violations of city code, including uncut grass and poorly maintained properties, according to the ordinance. The inspection department will retain other duties, like overseeing electrical and plumbing standards.


In other business, the council:


• Voted against suspending the procedural rules to allow a final vote on a proposed ordinance that would require the use of hard-sided trash containers and dumpsters. Some aldermen expressed concern that a blanket requirement for all would adversely affect business. The item will be back on the agenda at the next council meeting.


• Approved a resolution to restructure regular debt service payments paid by the Pine Bluff Convention Center to the city as part of a financing agreement for capital improvements made in the past 10 years. Finance department Director Steve Miller told the council that Convention Center Executive Director Bob Purvis had asked him to equalize the payments the center makes to the city. Miller said the change will save the Convention Center about $50,000 a year.


• And approved four resolutions that amend earlier resolutions to remove properties from the condemnation list.