LITTLE ROCK, Ark – Changes could be coming to the Little Rock Police Department after the City Board of Directors reviews an audit on the department.
The City reached out to the research company CNA last year to conduct an audit on the department.
According to the report, the audit was asked for following the police protests in 2020, a 2019 officer-involved shooting in Little Rock and LRPD’s involvement in several lawsuits.
Tuesday, the 100-page audit was presented to the board. The report by CNA was divided into 15 categories:
- Personnel policies and procedures
- Training and professional standards
- Accountability system data
- Performance evaluations
- Promotional process
- Cultural competency
- Handling of private and confidential information
- Early Intervention System
- Body-worn cameras
- Vehicle Pursuits
- Asset forfeiture
- Take-home vehicle
Researchers found, out of the things the department is doing well, training was at the top.
“We found that LRPD attention to and emphasis on de-escalation during in-service and academy courses increased between 2016 and 2020,” said Ben Carleton with CNA.
This the city says was a major plus as they work to better relationships with the community after the death of George Floyd in 2020 sparked several protests across the nation.
Other strengths of the department according to CNA were promotions and keeping documents confidential.
On the other side of things, CNA says bodycam footage can be better handled.
Right now, officers can view the footage before writing a report, but CNA suggests writing the report first.
“The use of force is supposed to be objectively reasonable from the perception of the officer at the time of force,” said Thomas Christoff. “You’re introducing the potential for something that they didn’t recognize at the time of force to now be included in their justification of force.”
The report also found internal evaluations were lacking and there was heavy reliance on the chief’s discretion which CNA says could create the potential for an impartial working environment.
The Mayor has asked Chief Humphrey to appoint a task force made up of the Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police and The Black Police Officers Association. They are expected to put a plan together for how the department should make changes according to the audit.
The full 100-page document can be found here.