LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas House passed a bill to create a law named after a Jonesboro Police officer who died last year after a strenuous training exercise at the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy.
The “Vincent Parks Law” would provide training to Academy instructors to look for signs of health complications.
Vincent Parks, 38, died in July 2022 of sickle cell disease aggravated by physical exertion and heat stress, according to the state medical examiner.
“It is our duty to make sure we learn from this tragedy,” State Rep. Fran Cavenaugh (R), the bill’s sponsor said.
The House overwhelmingly voted to pass this bill, so it will now go to the Senate side before it can be signed into law by Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R).
“His death won’t be in vain,” Cavenaugh said. “I know his family would appreciate the recognition.”
Christina Parks is Vincent Parks’ wife, and she and other family members attended the House vote. She said his death could have been prevented.
“There needed to be some protocols put in place to prevent this from happening, and there were none,” Parks said. “They should’ve recognized the signs prior.”
Christina Parks said passage of this bill would be comforting to other officers’ families.
“It’s just a privilege to be here, watch that happen and see it go through,” Parks said.