State Police Suspend Grant Program for Department Under Investigation

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More information uncovered in the state investigation into the Centerton Police Department — after a chief and a captain were fired from the department in May.

Tuesday KNWA obtained a copy of a letter from Arkansas State Police to Centerton Mayor – Bill Edwards.

This letter states a grant that reimburses officers for overtime patrol activities to reduce reckless driving in the community is suspended.

The suspension of the Selective Traffic Enforcement Project or STEP comes after Chief Cody Harper and Captain Kristopher Arthur were fired from the department following allegations the Centerton Police Department violated the speed trap law.

“This affects the younger officers who are married and have kids and a family and rely on this extra income,” Lt. Anthony Keck from the Centerton Police Department said. 

A police department is in violation of the Arkansas Speed Trap Law if its fines exceed 30 percent of the city’s total revenue — or if more than 50 percent of speeding tickets written are issued to drivers going 10 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit.

Lieutenant Anthony Keck says the suspension of the program in Centerton is going to hurt the department.

Whether the department used the program for the right reasons has yet to be determined. 

“It’s frustrating for the media like you,” Lt. Keck said. “It’s as frustrating for us. We have to be patient and let this investigation run its course.”
 

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