Best news this morning was Scott Carroll’s report in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Little Rock Police Department statistics that indicate a continued decline in the use of force by officers.

The number has declined for four years now.


Police Chief Kenton Buckner says this is an outgrowth of an emphasis on communications and restraint over physical force. I particularly liked the quote from Capt. Heath Helton, who heads training:

“The old philosophy was, kind of, ‘ask, tell, make’ — I’m going to ask you, I’m going to tell you, and then I’m going to make you,” he said. “That concept, several years ago, might have been applicable. Now, I think as a society, things have changed. The laws have changed. I think society’s views have changed on a lot of things.”

I’d be interested in seeing the numbers broken down by race, if only because that remains an issue in pending litigation over past uses of force in the department.