City of Indianola Police Chief Edrick Hall is making good on an earlier promise to get his department accredited.
Hall told the Indianola Board of Aldermen on Monday night that he needs them to rescind the department’s current code of conduct and adopt his new set of policies and procedures. He has already put together a policy and had it reviewed by a member of the accreditation board and it seems to be in order, he said.
According to Hall, when complete, this two-year-long accreditation process will allow his department to be audited by the state, “To make sure everything we do is on the up and up,” he said.
Hall upheld that everything from their hiring policy to every day policies and procedures would be subject to review by the state.
During the two years the Department of Public Safety will conduct several random visits to make sure the department and officers are following the necessary procedures to receive the accreditation. Each officer will receive the new manual and be instructed on its components each day during their shift startup in order to be in compliance with the study hour requirements necessary to receive the accreditation.
Hall said the benefits of the designation includes greater accountability within the agency, clear policy directives and sound training. He added that it would also reduce the risk of liability exposure and give them a stronger defense against civil lawsuits plus give them staunch support from governmental officials and increased community advocacy.
Hall said he had to make some logistical changes to make his plan work, such as moving a dispatcher away from the front receptionist area to a closed area where they would only have to deal with incoming and outgoing calls without distractions from the general public.
The city officials agreed to rescind the old code and adopt the new one effective as of October 24 to give the aldermen time to compare the two codes to see if they had any questions.
In other business,
The city aldermen approved and received the police department’s report of 1,350 calls answered, which Hall presented broken down by the city’s five crime zones. The report indicated that three percent of the crimes happened in zone 1, which encompasses the downtown area, 28.3 percent in the area south of Second Street and East of Bates Street, which is zone 2.
Then in zone 3, which is south of Second Street and west of Bates Street, the rate was 23 percent. In zone 4, the area north of Second Street and west of Sunflower Avenue, the numbers increase significantly to 30.9 percent, and according to Hall that high rate was fueled by an increase in shoplifting at Walmart. He said they are answering at least two calls per day.
The report for zone 5, which is north of Second Street and east of Sunflower Avenue, was 14.8 percent. His information included 63 arrests, 44 felony cases with 12 felony arrests and four refuse to prosecute.
Hall reported a slight increase in overtime due to an officer being out on sick leave and another being on military duty. In addition, he asked for and was approved to hire four temporary part-time officers due to the likelihood of increased traffic during the Gentry High homecoming weekend.
The board also approved signing an engagement letter to again utilize the Cunningham CPA firm to perform the city’s audit.
It also approved the requests of the Democratic Executive Committee to enter into agreement with the city clerk for the upcoming election and provide the required compensation and training for election poll workers.
The city agreed to use Southern Procurement of Westpoint to conduct an online reverse auction to take bids on a new street sweeper for the city.
The city also voted to take under advisement information presented by Marvall Labs regarding managing a city employee drug-testing program.
The board received and approved other departmental reports including the inspection department, the animal shelter and municipal court, which reported $22,124 in collections for the month of July and 272 community hours worked.