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LRPD shows reorganization plan to Little Rock City Board of Directors

 During the Little Rock City Board of Directors meeting on Tuesday, May
City of Little Rock
Assistant Police Chief Joe Miller said the Little Rock Police Department is in the interview stage with candidates who will be responsible for tracing guns. He said having civilians handle this job will free up detectives and a sergeant for other vacancies the department needs filled.

Officials from the Little Rock Police Department presented their reorganization plan on Tuesday to the Little Rock City Board of Directors.

Ahead of the presentation, Police Chief Heath Helton said that reorganization is needed because the world changes and the police department needs to be able to keep up with those changes.

“We have to continue to evolve as a department and look at best practices and what’s going to fit for us and look at how we did business in the past,” he said.

Assistant Police Chief Joe Miller said one of the changes the department will undergo is putting property crimes under the major crimes division. Miller said this will help the department with staffing.

“They will report to one singular lieutenant, whereas before we had three lieutenants, one for each of the patrol divisions that handle property crimes,” he said. “Now they’ll have one lieutenant. The reason for this is part of the recommendations was we needed more supervision on the streets for patrol officers, which we needed lieutenants. In order to free up those lieutenants, we had to move them from property crimes over to the patrol side of the house.”

Miller said the department will undergo changes to how it handles gun tracing. He said this will also be a way to free up staff.

“We have decided that our NIBIN machines, which is our gun tracing machine that currently operates out of SID, has three detectives and a sergeant. We are going to civilianize that unit,” Miller said. “We’ve already gotten approval from the mayor, we’ve already advertised the positions and we’re working on interviews now. We’re going to move that machine to our crime scene unit and we’re going to have civilians do that job. It frees up three detectives and a sergeant for some of these vacancies that we have.”

Helton told board members that crime is down 6% from the same time last year. Mayor Frank Scott Jr. thanked the police department for the decrease in crime. He added that the city will need to stay alert because the summer time is when crime tends to spike.

Ronak Patel was a reporter for KUAR News focusing on state and local government.