Tension continues between the Little Rock Black Police Officers Association and Chief Kenton Buckner.
The group today distributed a news release faulting the chief for failing to appear at a series of events that were part of the Victory Over Violence campaign led by KARK/Fox 16 and others.
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On his own, the chief has been having a series of community talks in different neighborhoods, with the final one scheduled Friday at Dunbar Community Center. He caught some criticism for a Monday night session for having an inadequate translation of his talk with Latino residents of Southwest Little Rock, according to a report on KTHV.
The BPOA release:
CHIEF’S CHATS ALL TALK….NO ACTION!!
Chief Kenton Buckner’s “Victory Over Violence” commitment is non-existent. He would rather travel on air planes than walk on our community blocks!
1. Victory Over Violence Panel Discussion at Central High School on April 6th – ABSENT!
2. Victory Over Violence March In Central High Neighborhood on May 20th Centennial Park – ABSENT!
3. Victory Over Violence Meeting with Congressman French Hill and Governor Asa Hutchinson July 7th at Curran Hall – ABSENT!
4. Victory Over Violence March at McArthur Park on July 15th – ABSENT!
5. Victory Over Violence follow – up meeting with Congressman French Hill on August 2nd at the Victory Building – ABSENT!
People are dying and Chief Buckner is flying!
His ABSENCE speaks louder than his WORDS!
I’ve asked the chief and the department spokesman for comment. None so far.
I’d note that the LRPD Facebook page is promoting the Victory Walk Aug. 26 on 12th Street. Buckner has said his door is always open to the BPOA but has expressed a desire for more unity in the ranks
UPDATE: Chief Buckner responded:
I am a very accessible and active Chief. Rarely do I turn down requests for my time; however, I cannot be everywhere. I have a strong group of competent commanders that attend events on my behalf when I am unable to make those events.
Most recently we have held “Chat with the Chief” forums in each of our wards. The last is scheduled for this Friday. During my interviews for radio, print, and television, I often illuminate the issues occurring in our city. Victory over Violence is a great example of the community responding to the challenges facing our community. As Chief, I encourage both individuals and organizations to do the same.
Lastly, I have a Victory Over Violence event scheduled (previously scheduled before this letter) for 8/23 with the MLK Commission. Thanks