Defunding law enforcement in Arkansas will not be a matter of discussion for a new task force.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson is signing an executive order creating a new task force that will review police standards, training and certification. However, Hutchinson said that the task force will not be considering defunding measures.
The task force will be allowed to consider how funding is used, however.
“It is always a fair discussion as to how funding is used and where the needs are, and that discussion is fair and can be a part of this,” Hutchinson said.
“This is not to take away from law enforcement. This is to enhance law enforcement, to make them better trained, to make sure they have adequate discipline, that they have adequate accountability…”
The reference to defunding law enforcement was likely a reference to ongoing discussions throughout the United States on defunding or disbanding police departments. Spurred by the murder of George Floyd, the Minneapolis City Council has pledged that it would be disbanding its police department.
According to Hutchinson, the current law enforcement standards in Arkansas were established more than 45 years ago and have not been reviewed since that time.