Since January 1, 2006 the Helena-West Helena Police Department has served over 11,000 citizens of Helena-West Helena, Arkansas. With a little more than twelve years since the emergence of the Helena-West Helena Police Department, the department has had eight Chiefs of Police at its realm. Former Chief of Police were Vincent Bell, Frederick Fielder, Lee Reddix (interim), Ray Price, Ulysses Wallace, Ronald Scott (interim), Virgil Green, and currently James Patrick Smith.
As the eighth and current Chief of Police, Chief James Patrick Smith brings with him at least twenty years of police experience by way of the Memphis Police Department. Chief Smith’s vision is to make, “Helena-West Helena Home Again”.
Several ways this vision is to be accomplished is through increased technology, transparency and community policing just to name a few. Lastly, Chief Smith, not only has a vested interest in making the streets and community of Helena-West Helena, Arkansas safe for its citizens, but he also has a love for Helena-West Helena, Arkansas because he was born and raised within the city.
The Helena-West Helena Police Department currently employs a diverse group of fifty-five employees comprised of forty sworn employees and fifteen civilian employees. The department also has five divisions consisting of Administration, Support Services, Internal Affairs, General Investigation Bureau, and Uniform Patrol.
On behalf of the men and women of the Helena-West Helena Police Department, I am pleased to present our department’s three-year strategic plan. This plan will serve as a guide to developing a model police department, which will help focus staff efforts by providing clarity necessary for each member of the Helena-West Helena Police Department and citizens of our great city.
I would like to thank everyone committed to the development of this plan because their commitment and dedication created a pathway for the growth of our department. The Helena-West Helena Police Department’s service to its citizens is founded on an ideal of respect for the rights of each citizen. Our members recognize that all incidents and issues that maybe encountered shall be treated in the manner that best exemplifies the values and mission of our department.
We will continue to blend both traditional and community policing to achieve the goals described in the plan. This plan places considerable effort and resources on accountability, transparency, customer service and utilization of our resources to be attentive to the needs of citizens and quality of life issues that impact our community.
Although this plan does not cover every issue, it will place priority on areas required by the 21st Century Policing Model implemented by the federal government. As we implement this plan, we will continuously measure our progress and hold ourselves accountable to ensure that our department meets the goals and needs of the citizens of Helena-West Helena, Arkansas. Again, I would like to thank the men and women of the Helena-West Helena Police Department. The strategic plan is our pledge to providing service through partnership with our community.
James Patrick Smith
Chief of Police
In November of 2017, the Helena-West Helena Police Department created the Strategic Plan Committee. The purpose of this committee was to research, revise pass policies and procedures, and promote higher standers within our community. This committee combines employees from various ranks, assignments and classifications.
Mission Statement: The Helena-West Helena Police Department exists to serve and protect its citizens. The Department is committed to work in partnership with the citizens for the mutual purpose of promoting safe neighborhoods and improving the quality of life.
Vision Statement: We will strive for the continuous development of Helena-West Helena as a progressive city where people want to live, conduct business, and visit frequently. As a professional organization, we will use our talents to create and sustain a safe community for all.
Service- We are committed to serving people regardless of race, sex, religion, creed and educational level.
Dedication- We are committed to providing the highest standard of service.
Leadership- We are committed to role modeling expected behavior and leading others to a positive way of life
Empowerment- We are committed to an environment that encourages problem solving, both by ourselves and the community.
Accountability- We are committed to being responsible for our actions and taking ownership of our work.
Education- We are committed to educating ourselves and our community about causes, resolution, and prevention of crime and disorder.
Dignity & Respect- We are committed to human rights and the worth of all people.
Community Partnership- We are committed to building strong relationships to enhance the quality of life.
Body Worn Cameras
We project the department will implement body worn cameras to facilitate cultural reform, increase officer accountability and reduce liability. In order to properly use this new technology, the Helena-West Helena Police Department needs to prepare and plan for its implementation and sustainability.
Crime Mapping-Evidence Based Policing
The department will adopt crime mapping and analysis data-driven policing strategies to help reduce crime and enhance safety in our community. Steps should be taken to ensure the Helena-West Helena Police Department will examine new and evolving directions in policing, including using data driven solutions to identify problem areas implement prevention and intervention plans to address crime and safety issues. Recruitment/Retention
The Helena-West Helena Police Department will retain employees who are Self-Motivated, emphasize community policing, possess superior communication abilities, and have the capacity to immediately switch gears to handle any situation competently and professionally.
Twenty-First Century Policing Training Initiative - The Helena-West Helena Police Department shall move toward the vision of the President’s 21st Century Policing Task Force and continue to employ the highest standards of accountability. The department’s main objective is to promote educational programs that take a comprehensive and inclusive look at community-based initiatives that address the core issues of poverty, education, health and safety.
Civilian Employee Training
It is a top priority for the Department to focus on the professional development of civilian staff that often requires specific training needs than commissioned employees. Efforts to provide high-quality training opportunities for non-sworn personnel are equally essential. Professional Development Plan
The Helena-West Helena Police Department Leadership Institution will design a comprehensive educational plan to better equip sworn and non-sworn personnel and provide training for future leaders. The object is to provide the necessary training and leadership courses to place the individual on a solid career path which will allow the individual to advance within the department.
Community Enhancement Project
The Helena-West Helena Police Department will adopt a program designed to educate citizens about the culture of our department including the history, police operations, processes, and objectives. The purpose is to provide transparency while building a strong relationship between the department and the community of Helena-West Helena.
Community Outreach Program (C.O.P.)
The Helena-West Helena Police Department values the importance of interacting with the citizens of our community. Police-Community relationships are some of the most significant barriers that policing faces. This is why positive police-community relations are critical for active crime prevention, officer safety, and successful police-citizen relationships.
Community Enhancement Project
Create opportunities in which to engage community members.
Coffee with a Cop- there are no speeches or agendas, just an open opportunity to ask questions, voice concerns, and get to know each other.
Back to School Picnic- This picnic will provide children with school supplies and clothes for the year. This will also be a great opportunity for police to talk to parents and community members.
National Night Out- An annual campaign that promotes police-community relationships to make neighbors safer. These events enhance camaraderie and provide the opportunity to come together in a positive environment.
Toy & Coat Drive- This drive will be held annually from October 1 to December 20. It provides police an opportunity to give back to their community.
Implement a Citizen on Patrol and Neighborhood Watch Program:
To provide an effective method of discouraging neighborhood crimes.
To promote a friendly and safer neighborhood environment while respecting the privacy and rights of all citizens
To encourage awareness and provide improved communication among neighbors.
To upgrade the quality of life and property values in the area.
To view the complete HWH Police Department 2018-2021 Strategic Plan go to www.helena-arkansas.com.