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Mayflower police chief booked Monday

Posted: December 10, 2012 - 5:36pm
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According to intake records from the Faulkner County Sheriff's Office, Mayflower Police Chief Billy Paul Baker was booked in to Faulkner County jail around 10 a.m. Monday. Baker spent a total of nine minutes in booking before being released on $2,500 bond.   FCSO
FCSO
According to intake records from the Faulkner County Sheriff's Office, Mayflower Police Chief Billy Paul Baker was booked in to Faulkner County jail around 10 a.m. Monday. Baker spent a total of nine minutes in booking before being released on $2,500 bond.

Mayflower Police Chief Billy Paul Baker was booked into Faulkner County Jail about 10 a.m. Monday, according to intake records from Faulkner County Sheriff's Office.

Baker is charged with tampering with a public record, a Class D felony that is punishable by up to six years in prison.

Baker reportedly arrived at the detention center with a bondsman, and according to intake records, spent a total of nine minutes in booking before being released on $2,500 bond.

The charge stems from inconsistent statements Baker gave to officials from the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (CLEST) and contradicting statements made by some of the officers about a training class that may not have even happened.

The class in question is radar certification, which allows police officers to monitor roads and drivers. The evidence used from the radar gun detection is used in issuing tickets. If the class was never given and the seven officers did not officially receive certification, all speeding tickets issued since November 2011 could be contested.

“The state believes it was presented evidence sufficient to warrant probable cause that Chief Baker committed the act of tampering with a public record,” said Cody Hiland, prosecuting attorney. “This is obviously a very serious matter that involves an individual in a position of public trust that our office has worked with in the past.”

Hiland said that while the actions of Baker are troubling, he was quick to praise other members of the Mayflower community.

“It’s important to note that in any case like this, the alleged actions of an individual should not reflect negatively against the institution or the community he or she serves,” he said.

Baker was suspended with pay during the investigation, and Sgt. Jeremy Hanson has since acted as interim police chief.

The investigation surfaced after a complaint was filed by one of the officers, who stated that despite being awarded a citation for radar gun certification, no class took place. The documentation sent to CLEST by Baker showed that a class was held on Nov. 28 and Nov. 29, 2011, and seven officers were in attendance. All received certifications. An investigator pulled all the certifications, spoke with two of the officers listed and found out that they did not attend a class.

Baker said he believed the class took place at Mayflower City Hall, but he said he was busy taking calls and that Officer Kyle Watkins was running the class. He later told a news outlet, “they held radar training and all but two officers on the roster attended ... although [Watkins] turned in the full roster, the problem was fixed once [he] found the mistake.” The investigation showed that Watkins had not been appointed as the training officer until September 2012.

Baker himself had an instructor certification from a 2010 class in White County, but after an interview, he confirmed that he did not attend that class but had received and maintained his instructor certification.

Radio logs from Nov. 28-29 showed that three of the officers who were supposed to be in the radar class were actually working the streets along with Baker.

In October, the CLEST investigator received verification from all seven officers that none of them had attended any radar certification class. Paperwork had been filled out by Watkins and Hanson under order of Baker, including state forms that went missing with the original training file. Baker had told investigators it had disappeared.

Investigators stated in the affidavit that they believe the original records were either destroyed, removed or hidden.

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lachowsj
5483
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lachowsj 12/10/12 - 07:32 pm
8
0
Don't send him to prison

I don't want to feed him for six years. I just want to make sure he is fired and never works in the field again. But I would also like to see an investigation of Mayflower law enforcement. I've heard stories of people getting tickets, paying the fine and never having the conviction show up on their record. Makes me wonder if someone was pocketing the cash.

Igor Rabinowitz
9183
Points
Igor Rabinowitz 12/11/12 - 10:40 am
7
3
Feh

A local sheriff padding some paperwork, some cop gets mad about something, turns him in, blah blah and here we are.

$2,500 bond should tell you how serious a crime this is(n't); I doubt he'll do any jail time.

Granted teh Internets moralists will be along here in a minute, suffering the vapors from such a failing, but out here in the real world these things happen. I mean really: Radar operator school?

Here, I'll teach a class:

1- Don't point it at your face or your dog's face.

2- Point it at cars you think are speeding. Pull trigger.

Everybody who read this is getting signed off, provided their faces aren't burnt.

i_wonder
27122
Points
i_wonder 12/11/12 - 10:44 am
6
1
"provided their faces aren't burnt"
Unpublished

What if my dog's face is burnt? Am I still good-to-go?

Igor Rabinowitz
9183
Points
Igor Rabinowitz 12/11/12 - 03:01 pm
4
0
Decision matrix

Singed: Good

Burnt: No

lachowsj
5483
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lachowsj 12/11/12 - 09:20 pm
2
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A story once made the rounds

A man on Cedar Avenue in Little Rock was ticketed by a policeman with a hand held radar gun. The motorist asked the policeman to do a little experiment. He said, "Point that thing at that building over there," motioning toward one of the buildings at the UA Medical Center. The radar gun read 15 mph. On seeing that, the man said, "I know that building ain't going nowhere." With that, the policeman let him go.

I can't vouch for the truth of the story but I get the feeling operating one of those things does take some level of expertise.

ifyoudontknownowyouknow
453
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ifyoudontknownowyouknow 12/11/12 - 11:37 am
5
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Igor

You could be right however the fact that the Chief is lying about having a class is a big no no.

gigi002
16
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gigi002 01/21/13 - 09:00 am
1
1
Seriously doubt that is all

Seriously doubt that is all he lied about. See post below~

gigi002
16
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gigi002 01/21/13 - 08:55 am
2
1
@lahowsj- Good paragraph.

@lahowsj- Good paragraph. And, you should wonder if someone was pocketing the money. Billy Paul Baker left Carroll County in the late 90's owing half the county money. He scammed people and didn't pay bills etc. I wondered how in the world he ended up Chief of Police, ANYWHERE. If I were in the city of Mayfield, I would be checking ANYTHING this leach had his hands on. He is a fraud!

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