Find out more →

Get unlimited access. Become a digital member!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

LR City Board cares about the police radio, if not neighborhoods

Posted By on Wed, Aug 6, 2014 at 6:29 AM

The rich white guys and gal's rejection of neighborhood concerns in approving a 20-gas-pump beer store at 12th and University pushed me away from further TV viewing of the Little Rock City Board meeting last night.

The Democrat-Gazette reports that a discussion did occur on the police department's summary decision — without prior public discussion — to prevent public monitoring of all police radio traffic. Some city directors and Mayor Mark Stodola raised questions about transparency. It seems folks in high-value neighborhoods listen to police radios. Maybe if the people in University Park expressed a similar interest they'd have gotten more consideration last night for their historic, neatly kept neighborhood.

The discussion seemed to indicate that new Police Chief Kenton Buckner strongly favors radio silence, though there's little but scarce anecdotal evidence to support the notion that this is a compelling officer safety issue.

City Manager Bruce Moore and Buckner were given 90 days to present some possible alternatives to allay concerns that police activities previously widely known thanks to radio transmissions will now pass unnoticed, to the public's detriment.

This a police chief honeymoon issue. Encryption was resisted in the city — though previous Chief Stuart Thomas favored it — until Buckner arrived last month. It seems clear he's driving adoption of the policy. I'd be surprised if his wishes are overturned this early in his tenure. But it ups the ante for him with the public as to satisfaction with his leadership.

If the city can spend a fortune encrypting its radio transmissions, however, it could move — years late — to ready on-line access to police call logs and police incident reports. These things are public information. Why not provide them without delay? The same for radio transmissions after the fact. They should be available for loop listening readily, with a decent, but short, delay. The LRPD has public information officers. It is no knock on them to say that they are inadequate to the task of fully and quickly providing answers to questions posed by a lengthy list of media and general public questioners. Full digital access would relieve them of a great deal of the burden.

I got this astute comment from a reader who DID listen to the Board discussion, a reader who was a regular radio listener:

The encryption conversation was interesting. The city has gotten the cart before the horse and has done a poor job at rolling this out to the public. Now they are playing catch-up. All they could talk about for the
reasoning to encrypt was officer safety which is bogus. The only safety it provides to officers is the lack of accountability. Now, they should have touted operational efficiency, public safety and protection of confidential information. And, they should have had a plan in place to communicate with media and neighborhoods. Now, they¹ve lost a lot of trust.

Tags: , , ,

Speaking of...

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Most Shared

  • Hot Springs firing range declared a "Muslim free zone" by its owner

    The owner of The Gun Cave Indoor Shooting Range in Hot Springs, Jan Morgan, announced yesterday that she is banning the presence of Muslims in her business. Her reasoning: "Why would I hand guns and ammunition to people whose religion commands them to kill me and my non-muslim patrons?" OK, let's get that lawsuit rolling.
  • Americans for Prosperity sends out hundreds of thousands of mailers with fake voter registration information in North Carolina

    North Carolina's ABC affiliate reports on hundreds of thousands of mailers with false information about voter registration sent by Americans for Prosperity, the right-wing advocacy group backed by the Koch brothers. The official-looking mailers gave the wrong deadline for voter registration and told people to sign up with the wrong state agency. The mailers also gave the wrong office for questions regarding voter registration, the wrong zip code for turning in a voter registration form, and inaccurate information about how people would be notified of their precinct.
  • How the South became dead red

    Good piece in Politico from Stanford sociology professor Doug McAdam on the roots of our modern partisan divide. McAdam tells the familiar story of how the South flipped, as yellow dog Democrats in the old Confederacy abandoned the party in the wake of the Civil Rights movement.
  • Beverly Carter's body found in shallow grave on Highway 5 in northern Pulaski County — UPDATED

    The Pulaski sheriff's office reported early this morning that the body of Beverly Carter, the real estate agent apparently abducted while showing a home near Scott Thursday evening, had been found in a shallow grave near Cabot. The charges against Arron Lewis, her suspected abductor, have been upgraded to capital murder.
  • Mark Pryor highlights Cotton votes against Paycheck Fairness and Violence Against Women Acts

    Sen. Mark Pryor today began what the campaign is dubbing a "Women for Pryor" statewide tour. Pryor is highlighting Cotton's votes against paycheck fairness legislation and the Violence Against Women Act (all together now: the only member of the Arkansas congressional delegation to do so). Pryor was joined by his mother, the former first lady of Arkansas Barbara Pryor, at this morning's event at the Fresco Cafe in Fayetteville. Events will be held across the state to mobilize women in support of Pryor to vote.

Most Viewed

  • Sen. Jason Rapert reacts to Beverly Carter's death with proposal to abolish parole in Arkansas

    Sen. Jason Rapert reacted to the death of Beverly Carter with a proposal on social media to abolish parole in Arkansas. Seeking to do everything in our power to construct public policy that curtails crime and protects citizens is of course vitally important. Indeed, keeping folks safe is a foundation mission of having a government — of having a society — in the first place. Awful tragedies happen, in Arkansas, and the rest of the nation. Events like these rightly shake us. They rightly force us to examine our policy choices. But to conclude that the panacea is locking up more people, and locking them up for longer periods of time, strains credulity. Thoughts on criminal justice and incarceration in the wake of a tragedy, and a conversation with Rapert.
  • Hot Springs firing range declared a "Muslim free zone" by its owner

    The owner of The Gun Cave Indoor Shooting Range in Hot Springs, Jan Morgan, announced yesterday that she is banning the presence of Muslims in her business. Her reasoning: "Why would I hand guns and ammunition to people whose religion commands them to kill me and my non-muslim patrons?" OK, let's get that lawsuit rolling.
  • Beverly Carter's body found in shallow grave on Highway 5 in northern Pulaski County — UPDATED

    The Pulaski sheriff's office reported early this morning that the body of Beverly Carter, the real estate agent apparently abducted while showing a home near Scott Thursday evening, had been found in a shallow grave near Cabot. The charges against Arron Lewis, her suspected abductor, have been upgraded to capital murder.
  • AG candidate Leslie Rutledge's voter registration cancelled by Pulaski Co. clerk

    Leslie Rutledge has been kicked off the voter rolls in Arkansas due to the fact that she is concurrently registered out of state. Does that mistake make her ineligible to run for statewide office?
  • Americans for Prosperity sends out hundreds of thousands of mailers with fake voter registration information in North Carolina

    North Carolina's ABC affiliate reports on hundreds of thousands of mailers with false information about voter registration sent by Americans for Prosperity, the right-wing advocacy group backed by the Koch brothers. The official-looking mailers gave the wrong deadline for voter registration and told people to sign up with the wrong state agency. The mailers also gave the wrong office for questions regarding voter registration, the wrong zip code for turning in a voter registration form, and inaccurate information about how people would be notified of their precinct.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2014 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation