City issues release on parked police vehicles at municipal center

Officers send message to officials
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
City employee working to moving police vehicles. (Source: KAIT)
City employee working to moving police vehicles. (Source: KAIT)
City of Jonesboro's response to off-duty officers (Source: KAIT)
City of Jonesboro's response to off-duty officers (Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Several off-duty Jonesboro police officers sent a message to Mayor Harold Perrin and other city leaders over pay.

The city responded late Monday morning with a news release after off-duty officers reportedly parked 23 police units at the Jonesboro Municipal Center, 300 N. Church St.

Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott was notified about the parked vehicles around 6:30 a.m. and had no prior knowledge of the "exhibition of protest," according to the release.

In the letter left for the city, it stated some officers were afraid to voice their opinions because they were afraid of being punished.

It stated those who have spoken out in the past have have been punished.

Elliott said the punishment mentioned did not occur during his administration and that he has an open door policy for officers.

"And I'm frankly disappointed at this point that they have not come in and sat down one to one or as a group," Elliott said.

In addition, an unsigned letter addressing take-home cars as a "benefit" to officers along with the request of a working pay scale was left in Mayor Perrin's parking space.

The release states the city "by no means considers take-home vehicles a replacement for pay increases and has been addressing officer pay for more than a year."

"Cause you're telling everybody that's part of my package," Perrin said. "It is a benefit to them but it's not a part of their total salary compensation package. It's definitely a benefit."

It goes on to state a committee was formed more than a year ago to discuss pay. The committee included the assistant chief of police.

The city states $1.2 million from city reserves "was used to address compression and longevity pay, and a plan is in place that continues to examine pay wages for all city employees."

The city started an internal investigation to ensure none of the officers were neglecting their duties and not protecting Jonesboro.

Elliott said as of Monday, no disciplinary action has been taken against any of the officers involved.

The letter from officers to the city was released exclusively to Region 8 News and can be read in full below.

An internal investigation is being conducted to ensure no officers were neglecting duties at the time of the protest.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Watch Region 8 News On Demand: On your Desktop | On your Mobile device

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android