The city of Little Rock is adding another layer of review to the Police Department.
July 20, the city asked for proposals to perform an independent review of police practices and policies, in cooperation with a committee appointed by Mayor Frank Scott Jr.
Today, the city published a notice of a request for a comprehensive study of department staffing.
The department is requesting qualifications to review all Divisions, Units and Sections, including civilian positions, within the department. The staffing study includes an audit of current staff strength with recommendations to increase or decrease overall strength of the department. It should also have an emphasis on reallocating manpower. This RFQ is being issued to assess effectiveness of our current configuration.
The request says the department has been in essentially the same form for some time, with increases and decreases in staff, but a “true staffing strength” for each unit has never been studied.
The final report shall include: 1. A summary of the findings, 2. Benchmark of LRPD’s staffing policies with other similarly-sized cities, 3. Provide recommendations of potential solutions for identified issues, 4. Provide recommendations of best practices for implementation the proposed solutions. 5. Provide recommendations of staffing with regards to sworn and civilian assignments, and recommendations should include how to transition sworn personnel to civilian. 6. Provide resources or other Cities that Little Rock could use as references.
Bids will be opened on Aug. 20. Police have been a focus of the mayor, who hired Chief Keith Humphrey. Humphrey now finds himself named in lawsuits by several members of the department over management practices. He’s also been at odds with the Fraternal Order of Police. A citizen review panel has been appointed to review the use of force and the department remains mired in controversy over the chief’s firing of an officer who killed a motorist in a stop over a suspected stolen car.
Scott promised during his 2018 election campaign to hire 100 more patrol officers over four years. Those plans were shelved because the city can’t afford it.
My wish: The audit or staff study will examine the cost, value and procedures of the take-home policy that gives much of the force provided a free car, plus expenses, to commute to homes outside of Little Rock.