A regular correspondent sent me yesterday a photo of a directive to the Little Rock Police Department from chief Keith Humphrey on communication, facial hair, clothing, smoking, phone use and other matters of conduct on the police force.
As yet, I haven’t received a response from a request to the city for an official copy. I’m getting the usual city run-around on FOI requests in the Scott era.
With the photo of the memo came a photo of the chief, courtesy of Russ Racop’s blog, that was taken at his arrival Sunday at the shooting at a city park that left one dead and two children wounded. My correspondent, civic rabble-rouser Jimmie Cavin, was critical of the chief in light of his recent memo. He copied me on an email he sent the chief asking why he wasn’t following his new policy.
I’ve sent questions to the chief. No response as yet.
Cavin said he got no response either, but he did get from within the department a note Humphrey had distributed to the force.
UPDATE: I did hear back from the chief. He provided an updated version of the original memo and also gave me his response to criticism of his visit to a crime scene Sunday.
First, the new memo:’
His response to me on the Sunday outing:
Sunday I was dressed rather casually to go and put gas in my city vehicle. While en route to the downtown pumps a drive by shooting was dispatched. Since I was in the immediate area, I contacted dispatch by phone to see if a description of the suspect vehicle had been provided.
As I mentioned earlier since the incident occurred close to our 6th Street pumps I went by to check on the responding officers, detectives, and the citizens in the area. Checking on the safety of the responding officers, detectives, and citizens was my immediate priority. Not my appearance. Also, a young child was injured during this incident.
While checking on everyone listed above I exited my vehicle to introduce myself and shake hands with citizens who witnessed the shooting. I even made a joke about being overdue for a pedicure. I was initially hesitant to exit my vehicle. However, I felt it was important to speak with greet our citizens directly. This is called empathy and support. The citizens, officers, and detectives were appreciative that I immediately came to the area to check on their welfare. Showing empathy is never an embarrassment.
Also, many citizens have thanked me for taking the time to thank me for immediately showing up to check on them. I promise to have gotten a pedicure next time.