Friday, September 16, 2016

EDITORIAL >> Police meet with public

Police departments in Jacksonville and Lonoke recently hosted town hall meetings with residents to assure them they’re getting outstanding protection while their rights are being protected.

Jacksonville Police Chief Kenny Boyd and Lonoke Police Chief Patrick Mulligan made impressive presentations for their departments at their community centers held at the same time Sept. 8 before some 45 people in each town. Communication and community were two words repeatedly used during the forums.

“We can improve the police department with community relations,” Boyd said. He urged residents to come forward if they have concerns about the police.

He said a good police department starts with recruiting, “so you do not get bad cops. There is a screening process to maintain the integrity of that officer. We have monitors in place,” Boyd said.

Mulligan expressed similar sentiments. “I might have to arrest someone, but I’ll hand them a card and say call if we can help you in any way.”

Mulligan said he offers free counseling and free anger-management classes in the jail led by local pastors, for prisoners and parolees. “In some jails, people are locked up and forgotten.”

Both town halls were effective, and we recommend them for other communities in our area.