Police department under question by state standards
SHANNON HILLS —
A police department in central Arkansas is on the hot seat for not meeting state standards, and even though it's a small department, the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training said it's causing larger problems.
Shannon Hills Mayor Mike Kemp tells us his officers have all the necessary paperwork, but the state director of standards and training said if they don't show it soon, the officers could be gone.
"We went through all those boxes, and we've found everything that they've asked for," Kemp told us outside city hall Thursday.
However, if you ask Arkansas' director for law enforcement standards and training, Ken Jones, you get a different story.
"We found that the officers in the department had several deficiencies in what is required," said Jones.
State standards tell me its continued work with Shannon Hills Police Department since October on 2012, trying to come up with those deficiencies. The gaps include missing paperwork for things like background checks, physical fitness exams and psychological exams.
"A lot of minor things can all of a sudden turn into a large problem," Jones added.
"We've been working with Shannon Hills to try to correct those problems and so far we're not having a lot of luck, but we're still working to get that corrected."
Kemp admits when he first met with standards in October there was a long laundry list of things it needed, but he said Thursday that the list is complete.
Jones has another different side, telling us the city is on strike two. If they don't show the missing files soon, further action is expected.
"As far as what the next step is, it will probably be to take this before the Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training, and maybe to the attorney general's office," Jones said.
Mayor Kemp said his four full-time officers are more than qualified, and he has the paperwork to prove it.
"I'm not concerned about, or worried at all, that any of them would lose their certification because there is no reason for them to, because I've gone through (documents) myself," he said.
These two departments are working together to account for that paperwork, and Jones in no way said the department could be shutdown anytime soon.
Only if uncertified officers continue to work there, it might eventually become a possibility