Three major Central Arkansas law enforcement agency spokesman positions shook up this past week in Pulaski County.
Little Rock Police Department, North Little Rock Police and the Pulaski County sheriff's office announced changes with their public information spokesmen.
Little Rock Police spokesman Lt. Casey Clark, who joined the media relations team on June 30, announced Tuesday the beginning of the city's search for a civilian media specialist as a part of Chief Keith Humphrey's push for "21st-Century Policing."
The position will be a full-time spokesman position for the department and emulates what Arkansas State Police and the Pulaski County sheriff's office have done with their civilian spokesmen.
"The inclusion of a nonsworn face in the public affairs office has been pretty commonplace, especially here in Central Arkansas, for a good time," Clark said. "And I think that's where the idea sprang from."
It will be largely "split duties" between the team members, but the team will favor the civilian spokesman for different statements from the sworn members of the unit.
"A lot of times it's going to be, whenever we're talking about enforcement related issues, it's probably going to be myself, who's the commander over the unit, or another sworn member giving statements," Clark said. "When we're talking about community outreach or other initiatives we're doing, [it will] probably be the civilian position."
Clark mentioned Bill Sadler, the public information officer of the state police, and Mitch McCoy of the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office, whose last day in that position will be Thursday.
"Much like we've seen at the state police for years, they've had a civilian working on their PIO team," Clark said. "Then with Mitch McCoy who's been working with the county for a while."
McCoy announced last week his return to KARK and FOX16 after working with the sheriff's office since September. He said he was thankful for the experience he had working with a police agency.
"I've always had a passion in social media," McCoy said. "I've always had a passion for breaking news. I've always had a passion for the community, and when there's an opportunity that integrates all of those passions together, it's hard to pass something like that up, and that's exactly what happened here."
Having been a civilian on a law enforcement media relations team, McCoy said he is certain it's beneficial for the agency.
"I think that a civilian allows a law enforcement agency another perspective on things," McCoy said. "I think having a civilian with media experience, with social media experience, helps build that relationship. That's something I believed in before I came to the sheriff's office, and it's something that I believe in even as I prepare for my exit."
On Tuesday, the North Little Rock Police Department announced Officer Joe Green would take over as the lead spokesman for the department. He said he is grateful for the opportunity and hopes to continue the legacy of other spokesmen for the department.
"I'm looking forward to building relationships with the media and promoting the North Little Rock Police Department in the most positive and transparent light as possible," Green said.
Green has been on the media relations team for the department since September but only just fully took over for former spokeswoman Sgt. Amy Cooper, who transferred back to patrol.