PINE BLUFF, AR – The Pine Bluff city council is requesting the mayor to look into hiring a consultant to evaluate the police department’s policies and procedures.
Mayor Carl Redus says the matter has been under discussion for quite some time and does not have anything to do with recent firing and rehiring of Assistant Police Chief Ivan Whitfield.
“It’s no more than a request to take a look at the law enforcement agency and how we stack up against other communities of our size,” said Redus.
Earlier this month, Whitfield was fired
after his service weapon was found at a crime scene. Whitfield says he was dismissed by Chief Brenda Davis-Jones in retaliation because he would not give her information concerning a confidential informant.
At a special meeting of the city council, in a 7-1 vote, the council reinstated Whitfield
. At the meeting, Redus said he was unhappy with the decision, saying there was an appeals process in place to handle those types of problems. Redus said at the time he was “concerned” about the disagreement between the chief and assistant chief.
Tuesday night, the mayor said the request for a consultant is nothing out of the ordinary and can only benefit Pine Bluff.
"It's similar to an approach we had about 6 years ago when we evaluated our human resources department in dealing with our benefits and compensation area," said Redus.
A spokesperson for the police department, Captain Greg Shapiro, says the department will comply “whatever the council votes for us to do.”
Redus has 30 days to look into consulting firms to see what they can offer Pine Bluff, and then he will report back to the city council.