Little Rock mayor says city ‘ahead of the curve’ as it relates to police reform

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — On Thursday, Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. shared insight on a newly formed Independent Review Committee, which will investigate the police department’s practices.

Scott said new changes have been in the works since he began his administration, which started with the ACT Plan — a plan to “be accountable, clear, and transparent to the residents of Little Rock.”

“Little Rock has been ahead of the curve as it relates to police reform and accountability with our policies,” Scott said.

All the new initiatives fall under the ACT Plan, and Scott said they’ve been needing them for a while.

“Frankly, it should have been done a long time ago, but upon us taking office, we wanted to make that a priority. We fully believe in our budgets and our documents and so, when we got in office, we made sure it was a part of our 2020 budget and we were able to pass it,” Scott said.

Scott said it’s full speed ahead for programs like the Citizens Review Board.

The board, the mayor said, will start meeting in the coming weeks to name their chairperson, bylaws, and eventually scheduling their first hearing.

He also said the Independent Review Committee will wrap up with findings soon.

RELATED: Competing voices within LRPD welcome mayor’s call for outside review

“They’ll be done with their work in the 60, 90, or maybe even 120 days and provide a report to our office,” Scott said.

Under the ACT Plan, an intervening policy will also be in place within the Little Rock Police Department, so other officers can step in if excessive force is being used.

“It’s not only good for the Little Rock Police Department police officers, but also for the community to truly know what’s going on and what’s happening as it relates to police encounters,” Scott said.

The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office just signed the policy alongside protesters on Wednesday, Scott said he fully supports it.

RELATED: Arkansas law enforcement march with protesters at the Capitol

There will more police reform and accountability policies Scott plans to release in the coming weeks.