LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – New documents released show the mayor’s new police protection detail is racking up thousands of dollars in overtime.
Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show 172 overtime hours have been totaled in less than three weeks. Little Rock Police say the Detectives working the detail get paid about $40.46 an hour in overtime which totals approximately $6,959.
“I can’t even get overtime where I work — that’s crazy,” says Ray Nash, who lives in Little Rock.
Documents show Mayor Frank Scott, Jr.’s protection detail is being paid dozens of overtime hours during City Board meetings, when other uniformed officers are also there, being paid to provide security.
“That’s a waste of money and people’s time,” says Nash.
These documents come at a very critical time in the city’s budget.
Tuesday evening, the Little Rock Board of Directors heard a new proposed budget amendment which includes cutting 44 city positions and closing two golf courses.
The Mayor’s office released the following statement regarding the protection detail:
“Mayor Scott takes very seriously the City’s long-standing budget problems that began prior to his administration. That is why he is leading efforts to right-size Little Rock’s government and protect and advance the City’s fiscal future. While it’s not something he asked for, Mayor Scott, at the professional recommendations of two different police chiefs, accepted a security detail for his safety. He is grateful to the Little Rock Police Department for working as efficiently as possible to provide the detail and keep staffing at a level that is appropriate. “
The city hasn’t been able to cite any specific threat against the mayor, but documents show a bomb threat called into City Hall during a February meeting may be the reason.
Some people like Booker Davis don’t agree with how much it costs, but believes the mayor should be protected.
“There are folks, who the rules you make, some are going to be happy with them and some are going to be not happy,” says Davis.
And, there are others, like Nash who feel different.
“Mayor Stodola, he didn’t have any protection detail,” says Nash.”
Little Rock Police confirm the detectives protecting the Mayor were originally assigned to Major Crimes.
Officials confirm there is a job posting within the police department for officers to apply to be on the mayor’s protection detail.
The city has also leased a 2019 Chevy Tahoe for the protection detail.