Little Rock mayoral candidate Frank Scott has released an “inclusion” agenda that, among others,
Said Scott’s statement:
We also can’t say we’re truly open for business to global companies if they don’t see Little Rock as a progressive city where all of their employees would be welcome if they moved their company to Little Rock.
* Rebrand the Little Rock Racial and Cultural Diversity Commission as the Human Rights Commission and include an LGBTQ representative.
* Create the position of a chief inclusion officer as a liaison to the LGBTQ community.
* Have a police liaison to LGBT people and an officer dedicated to
On a more general — and likely more controversial — topic, Scott proposed this on police-community relations:
Creating the Little Rock Community Review Board to Mediate Complaints of Police Misconduct and Working with our County Prosecuting Attorney to Create a Community Prosecution Program.
I allude to community policing, community prosecution, and the Little Rock Community Review Board in my public safety agenda, but inclusion can’t come when our communities and our law enforcement are not on the same page.
Real community policing and community prosecution brings our law enforcement out of their offices and their patrol cars and into the communities they serve. It’s my job to ensure that our law enforcement and our communities better understand one another and figure out how we can all work together to make Little Rock safer.
Being More Intentional about Recruiting More Diverse Officers to LRPD.
I fully support all of our hard-working LRPD officers, and I want to ensure that our force reflects an increasingly diverse city. That means being far more intentional about recruiting more women on our force, deepening our recruiting partnerships with Philander Smith and Arkansas Baptist College and LRSD, and recruiting more Hispanic officers and officers that speak Spanish who can be liaisons with our growing Hispanic community.
Encouraging LRPD to administer more frequent de-escalation and implicit bias training for LRPD officers that includes specific training on how to effectively engage the LGBT community.
Our city is evolving and becoming increasingly diverse, and we need to ensure that our officers have the tools and training to serve a Little Rock that is becoming more diverse.
All forms of implicit (or explicit) bias — racial, ethnic, orientation — need to be addressed both in the academy and on a regular basis as a condition of employment for LRPD officers if they’re not already doing this.
These ideas will be well-received in some quarters, not so much in others. Police misconduct is now reviewed internally except that the Civil Service Commission hears an appeal of discipline. Police have traditionally been resistant to independent review.
The Little Rock police force is overwhelmingly white and the vast majority of white officers don’t live in the city. The force has also been
And there’s more:
* Creating new general orders for the police on “engaging with LGBT residents.”
* Prohibit use of salary history when filling city jobs.
* Study and correct pay disparities among city employees.
* Reward contractors that have equitable pay policies.
* Seek more diversity in city vendors.
* Improve diversity on city boards and commissions. (Representation among black, Hispanic and young people has been lacking, he said.)