“On a normal day, how many officers do you have protecting the streets of Helena West Helena?” asked councilman Larry Brown.
Brown stated that over the last several days he has observed the routes of the police department, noting there is a crowding of officers on some single calls.
“We should be rotating our officers a little bit more so that if something were to happen, not everybody is racing to Helena from West Helena,” stated Brown. “A police officer should already be positioned in Helena.
According to Police Chief Uless Wallace, H-HPD officers have an assignment sheet that includes the shift supervisor, an officer for the east side and one for the West side.
“During peak hours, I have six officers, three coming to the east side. The other five patrol West Helena,” stated Wallace.
Wallace reported that Sunday usually is a slow day. Wallace explained that he has one full-time officer and two part-timers on Sunday.
“It's a hard habit to break when you hear an emergency call or have shots fire, everybody wants to rush to stop what's going on,” stressed Wallace.
Joe St. Columbia asked how many officers are on the street at 2:30 in the morning to which Wallace replied that he has three patrol officers on duty. Brown questioned whether or not the department has anybody currently in the Academy. According to Wallace there is nobody in school right now. However, he said, the Civil Service will be conducting tests at the end of September.
“They're going to give the test and hope someone passes,” said the chief.
Brown asked if the police department needs more officers on the street.
“Yes, I could use more officers. I can maintain the count I have right now but it's going to continue my over time rate at about $4,000 per pay period,” explained Wallace.
Currently, the Helena West Helena Department has 21 full-time officers and 12 part- time officers.
St. Columbia asked about the recent discovery of the stolen weapons that were retrieved during a drug bust.
“All but one of the weapons is accounted for,” reported Wallace.
Wallace was asked about a report of a weapon that was allegedly stolen out of a police car while in the police parking lot.
“The back window was broken out and a weapon was stolen from the trunk of the car,” explained Wallace.
Wallace said that the weapon was retrieved and the suspects that were apprehended were charged with the theft.