JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - After a press conference was held at the Jonesboro Police Department Monday, addressing the missing evidence in the 2016 internal investigation, Police Chief Rick Elliott and Mayor Harold Perrin are confident a repeat will not happen again.
"Our department is made up of men and women who have a desire to serve the public, and I trust that their integrity is above reproach," said Elliott. "If any employee behaves in any way that is contrary to that, I do not tolerate it."
Elliott stressed to the public that the mistake was not caused by a flaw in their policy and procedures, but by a personnel issue.
"From time to time, we are going to make mistakes and we are going to address those mistakes as they come up," said Elliott.
This press conference stems from addressing an issue that was brought to light during a murder-for-hire case and trial.
An inventory revealed thousands of dollars, drugs and property had not been properly documented.
"Our policy and procedures fall in line with the Internal Association for Property and Evidence policy and procedures," said Elliott. "Unfortunately when you don't have people following those guidelines and break those rules in place, you are going to have problems."
Since that incident took place, new people have filled Jennifer Miller's and Susan Williams positions. Miller is the former evidence technician, and Williams is the former tech assistant.
Perrin said he is still confident in the police department despite the situation.
"I'm confident that if an error is found, knowing the chief, he is going to correct that," said Perrin. "When you handle that much evidence then obviously you need the right people in the right place, and I know that is the way the chief has addressed the issue."
All in all, Perrin said he is pleased with the way Elliott has dealt with this situation.
"He mentioned a word that I have always said and that is transparent," said Perrin. "Obviously in police work, you definitely want to be transparent."
Elliott said the department will now move forward with the same policy and procedures but in a more stringent manner.
"A situation like this brings bad light to the police department and I am not thrilled about it," said Elliott. "Obviously not but on the other hand I will stand before you and assure you to the general public that we have dealt with it and that it doesn't happen again."
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