New policy boosts police visibility in Little Rock neighborhoods


Share post:

Little Rock, Arkansas – The Little Rock Police Department has revised its policy to permit patrol officers to bring home their police vehicles. This strategic change, endorsed by both the department’s leadership and union representatives, aims to expand the force’s reach and increase police visibility in local communities.

According to LRPD Assistant Chief Troy Ellison, who is supervising the introduction of an updated fleet, “It’s leaps and bounds on how it can benefit (a) neighborhood, knowing there’s an officer right next door to them because there’s a car there.”

Earlier this year, the Little Rock Board of Directors sanctioned over $3.57 million for the acquisition of 80 Ford Police Interceptors, supplemented by an additional $1.15 million for 27 Ford F-150 police responder trucks. Concurrently, guidelines governing vehicle home usage have been updated. For many in the force, this development has been keenly anticipated.

Officer Ronnie Morgan, president of the Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police, remarked, “Patrol officers have never had take-home vehicles in the 30 years that I’ve been here.” Historically, only specialized roles such as detectives, SWAT Team members, and K9 officers were granted this privilege. Others shared vehicles, which were in continuous use. Morgan provided context saying, “When I get out of my car there’s a guy who works 3 to 11 getting into it. That car never stops.”

The reformulated policy now authorizes the Chief to allocate vehicle assignments. Priority will be given to officers residing in Little Rock. Officers living within a 25-mile radius of the city center – defined by Boyle Park – can utilize a take-home car upon payment of a fee, capped at $100 monthly. Those residing beyond this perimeter require formal authorization.

Chief Ellison views this policy as an attractive proposition, encouraging officers to reside within the city limits. Sgt. Rodney Lewis, representing Little Rock’s Black Police Officers Association, concurs, noting the policy’s potential to expedite police response during emergencies.

The revised strategy also compels officers to intervene when spotting an issue within city boundaries, even when off-duty. This directive enhances police presence without added operational hours.

The Fleet Services Department of Little Rock, responsible for the majority of its $18 million annual budget on LRPD vehicle maintenance, is optimistic about the policy. With single-use cars typically demonstrating extended durability and reduced mileage, expenditure is predicted to decrease. “They’re paying for this fuel, they’re paying for the maintenance, but to see those officers and to see those vehicles here in the city it should be a huge relief that they know their tax money is being well spent,” Chief Ellison commented.

Officers utilizing the take-home vehicle privilege must adhere to guidelines, including wearing their uniform while driving. Extended leaves or any breaches of departmental rules could result in the revocation of this benefit.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related articles

Arkansas outperforms national unemployment rate in February

Arkansas - Arkansas workers have reasons to celebrate as recent statistics reveal a promising outlook in the state's job...

Search underway for missing teen in Little Rock

Little Rock, Arkansas - The Little Rock Police Department is currently seeking assistance from the public to locate 15-year-old...

Gas prices in the Natural State increased by over 7 cents in a week

This past week, Arkansas witnessed an increase in gas prices, with the average price of gasoline in the...

Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders signs executive order to address maternal health crisis

In a significant move aimed at tackling the state's alarming maternal mortality rates, Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders...