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story.lead_photo.caption FILE — Little Rock Police Department headquarters are shown in this 2019 file photo. ( Gavin Lesnick)

Little Rock issued a request for qualifications this week to find the firm that will conduct an independent review of the city's Police Department.

According to the solicitation issued Monday, the auditor will work in conjunction with a nine-member committee that Mayor Frank Scott Jr. appointed.

They will review the department's practices and policies, and determine corrective actions to be taken to ensure "use of best practices, equitable implementation of practices and policies, and ultimately the efficient operation" of the Police Department.

Scott called for a third-party review of the department on May 19, which came amid weeks of litigation and concerns aired by officials about Little Rock Police Chief Keith Humphrey. At a news conference in June, the mayor said he would issue a nationwide request for qualifications to find an auditor.

[DOCUMENT: City of Little Rock request for qualifications »]

Bids are due Aug. 10. The firm is to begin evaluating the department within five days after the contract is awarded and conduct an initial assessment within two weeks of starting the audit.

No bids had been received as of Wednesday afternoon, Derrick Rainey, the city's assistant purchasing manager, said in an email.

The auditor will produce a report in 90-120 days that summarizes its findings, compares the Little Rock department's policies with those of other similarly-sized cities, identifies issues within the department, and provides recommendations and potential solutions for those issues, as well as the best implementation practices for those proposed solutions.

The firm must have at least three years of experience auditing police departments and must be licensed to provide those services in Arkansas.

City code requires that contracts for professional services over $50,000 go before the Little Rock Board of Directors for approval. A spokeswoman for the mayor did not respond by Wednesday evening to inquiries from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette about a price range for the contract.

City directors' opinions vary on an independent review of the department and how it should be conducted.

Vice Mayor B.J. Wyrick, who represents Ward 7, said in an email to Scott and the city board in May that if there were an independent review, the city should ask Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge to do it.

"I do not have confidence in an independent review. Those seem to be stacked and biased," Wyrick wrote.

Ward 5 City Director Lance Hines also has suggested having Rutledge's office conduct the review. Hines, along with Ward 4 City Director Capi Peck, have said they lack confidence in Humphrey.

Ward 2's Ken Richardson previously told the Democrat-Gazette that he thought a third-party review was a good idea to examine a "pattern of practice" within the department that he said goes beyond the current chief.


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