Back in October, Mayor Arnell Willis and the Helena-West Helena City Council commissioned a committee to investigate and make recommendations, “For the purpose of providing needed assistance in initiating a study of our police department.”
The study focused on two key areas, including the enhancement of public safety and internal changes in the PD, “That would result in cost savings and more effective use of personnel related to lowering department expenses.”

Back in October, Mayor Arnell Willis and the Helena-West Helena City Council commissioned a committee to investigate and make recommendations, “For the purpose of providing needed assistance in initiating a study of our police department.” The study focused on two key areas, including the enhancement of public safety and internal changes in the PD, “That would result in cost savings and more effective use of personnel related to lowering department expenses.” The Police Committee includes Lionell Moss (secretary), Bennie Phillips, Loistyne Burrell, Jessie Blakely, Joe St. Columbia, Larry Brown, and Dick Parker (chair). The Police Committee made the determination that cost-cutting measures within the department “Should begin with a series of serious internal personnel changes that would impact some salaries.” The report continued, “This includes asking staff to 'multi-task' some responsibilities of other employees where possible.” Police Chief Uless Wallace noted in the report that, “This is particularly critical at night when…there are generally no more than two officers on patrol for both Helena and West Helena.” The committee recommended that the PD transfer additional personnel “From the office into the streets part-time” which would “Provide a cost-effective approach to increase the number of officers on patrol without incurring the additional salary/benefits costs associated with hiring as many new officers as is currently being requested.” This would also decrease the response times for the PD, according to the report. The committee also reviewed and recommended the reduction of overtime pay in the department. The report noted that, “Overtime pay at the PD is within budget limits as documented by Treasurer Patrick Roberson.” The report continued, “Overtime will obviously continue so long as [the] PD is short personnel.” Another topic covered in the committee's report included the need for increasing the salaries of personnel, including officers and the police chief and the needed funding for new police vehicles. Regarding the latter, the report noted, “It appears…that [the] PD is in need of at least ten new police cars.” As repairs mount to over $200,000 per year, “Savings alone in repair and gas costs could significantly contribute to the purchase of these new vehicles.” The report will be discussed in more depth at the next city council meeting in February.