The former police chief of Mayflower will no longer be allowed to work in law enforcement in the state of Arkansas, according to a consent decree he signed Thursday.
Billy Paul Baker was scheduled for a decertification hearing to determine whether or not he could remain a police officer in the state of Arkansas, but reached an agreement prior to the hearing.
Baker signed a consent decree surrendering his ability to be a law enforcement officer in Arkansas, and he also agreed not to appeal the decision in order to seek law enforcement again.
"Mr. Baker did agree to his decertification as a police officer so the scheduled hearing before our Commission was waived," said Ken Jones, Director of the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy. "The Commission did vote to decertify Mr. Baker. The Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training has the ability to certify or decertify a person as a police office in Arkansas.
"There are certain standards that are set by Arkansas law that a person must meet to be a police officer. Like wise there are certain things that an officer can do that will give cause under our law and regulations for that person not to be a police officer. The decertification is permanent."
The agreement does not affect the charge of Tampering with Public Records that he’s facing in Faulkner County. He still could get a sentence or a fine if convicted.
Baker was suspended as police chief during an investigation into false records given during certification classes for the Mayflower Police Department.
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.