Members of the Helena-West Helena City Council agreed to establish a 4-member police committee. The council set up the committee as an advisory group that would only make recommendations to the council.
KJIW radio station owner Elijah Mondy proposed establishing both a police committee and a finance committee to assist with the police department's infrastructure and the city's financial problems respectively. Back in April, Mondy became involved in a shooting incident in which he was shot in the chest while attempting to aid a man who was pretending to be injured.
Mondy has since become a strong advocate against the rising crime rate in the community.
Nominees considered for the police committee included Lionel Moss, Jessie Blakely, Loistyene Burrell, Bennie Phillips and Dick Parker. Council members questioned as to whether or not it would be a conflict of interest for some considering their current positions in law enforcement.
“I think that an active police officer would be a possible conflict,” commented councilman Larry Brown.
According to councilman John Huff, one candidate works for the sheriff 's department and another works for the Marvell Police Department.
“I thought it would be more feasible is you had nominees that have had some type of law enforcement background rather then a nominee without any law enforcement knowledge,” commented council member Wanda Crockett.
The council body agreed that the number of nominees should also be increased to four, the same as the finance committee.
“I guess at the end of the day we have to decide what we want the committee to do because if the police chief chooses not to work with those appointed than it wont work whether its someone with a law enforcement background or not,” stated councilman Don Etherly.
Councilman Jay Hollowell amended the number of committee members for the police committee to reflect four nominees and motioned to appoint Parker, Phillips, Moss and Blakely.