Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Helena's New Chief Presents His 15 Day Plan; Has Recovered 13 AK-47s from "Citizens"

HELENA-WEST HELENA - - - Mr. Uless Wallace, newly installed Chief of Police for the City of Helena-West Helena, appeared before the city council tonight. He presented his 15 day plan which included several parts.

He found that the department was lacking in leadership and direction. He vowed to change that. He found that the records department was not moving at the pace he desired. He changed the office hours from 8 to 5 to 7 to 3 and 3 to 11. He split the current personnel into two shifts without adding any expense to the city's budget.

Chief Wallace directed that the dispatch department change its attire. Male dispatchers are required to wear shirts and tie. Female dispatchers have to follow a different dress code as well.

There will be zero tolerance on law enforcement. The police department will travel pick up persons held by other jurisdictions on Helena-West Helena warrants. The fees for these travel expenses will be charged to the defendants and will have a net charge of zero to the city's budget.

Wallace said of the police department "To build and maintain public trust, we need to be dedicated to holding ourselves to the highest standards of performance and ethical behavior."

Wallace concluded his written remarks saying that "planning helps to define, refine and fully articulate the Helena-West Helena Police Department." He continued this plan "will serve to instill pride and focus on the work, inspire changes and modifications in the manner in which the work is carried out and help to motivate all those involved in the process."

Patrick Roberson thanked the chief for "finding his motorcycle." That bike had been stolen several weeks ago and was recovered in a raid on Friday, September 16, 2011 at a house on Bonanza Street.

We blocked off the "whole block" to make sure that our scene was not disturbed by anyone. Since we started this "zero tolerance" we have recovered 13 AK-47s and other high powered weapons. "People are riding around with these weapons in cars," said Chief Wallace. "I intend to make this community safe," Wallace continued. The average age of the persons with these weapons were between the age of 19 and 26. The offenders have been charged and several of them are sitting in the county jail now. 

Wallace hopes to get 40 full-time officers to working for the city in addition to the part-time and auxiliary officers.  That would allow for 33 patrol officers plus investigators and administrative officers.

Chief Wallace has hit the ground running and his impact has been noticed.

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