As promised, the State Police have developed a policy to cover troopers who handle security duties for Arkansas college football coaches. Both the University of Arkansas and Arkansas State University have had troopers assigned, in keeping with a tradition that is particularly widespread among SEC schools. The assignment is specifically authorized by statute.
The new rules grew out of questions that arose when Capt. Lance King helped then-Hog coach Bobby Petrino to the hospital after a weekend motorcycle accident. It developed that King had received some free Hog gear and tickets from UA for his security detail work. The gift was subsequently determined to be prohibited under state ethics rules that bar gifts (defined as items worth more than $100) to state employees for doing their jobs.
State Police Director JR Howard's two-page policy is here. The agency says it had checked around the country first and found little in the way of formal policy, so it developed its own.
In short, assignments will be strictly business — after evaluation by State Police of a request for security, by an on-duty trooper, no extra reimbursement, no appearance that the trooper is a part of the athletic team.
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