Bryant Chief of Police heads cooperative efforts with media

From left, Benton Chief of Police Kirk Lane, Bryant Chief of Police Tony Coffman and Saline County Sheriff Jim Pennington. (Photo by Martin Couch)By Martin Couch

Recently, Bryant Police Chief Tony Coffman invited the local media outlets to attend a monthly meeting of the Saline County law enforcement officers to discuss a cooperative working environment to get information to the citizens.[more]

“We started this chiefs’ meeting once a month and our goal is to discuss how to help each other in the county, because we all work for the same people and that’s the citizens of Saline County,” Coffman said in the meeting to the media. “We wanted to talk to the news media to see what we can do to make both of our jobs easier to report to the public.”

Among those law enforcement personnel in attendance at the newly constructed Bryant Police Department’s second floor conference room were Chief Michael Holt of Haskell, Chief Jimmy Hood of Bauxite, Chief Ross May, Chief Terry Mullenax of Shannon Hills, Lt. Kevin Russell of the Benton Police Department, Chief Kirk Lane of the Benton Police Department, Sheriff Bruce Pennington of Saline County, Lt. Mike Frost of Saline County, SSA Kimber Brunell of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, SSA Jerry Spurgess of the FBI and Chief BIll Field of Saline County.

Saline County Prosecuting Attorney Ken Casady was also on hand.

“It’s one of these things, like Chief Coffman was saying, a year and half or so ago, we decided to all get together to benefit the citizens of the county,” Sheriff Pennington said. “That allows for more protection for all our citizens and our big thing was to make sure all the media outlets have everything we can provide. One thing we don’t want to do is cover anything or put anything under the table. We want to make sure everything is on top of the table and that has been one of my goals since I was elected. Any time the media needs something from us, come see us and we will provide you with it. We want the public to know what’s going on in the county. This makes them more aware and they could establish their own neighborhood crime watches.”

The media outlets represented along with were The Courier, KARK Channel 4, and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

“The idea we had was to see what needs the media has so we can improve communication between the police and the outlets,” Chief Lane added. “We wanted to discuss how we can do it better, because the media is a very influential part in helping us solve cases.”

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