Arkansas LegislatureEconomic PolicyState Spending

Who Will Regulate the Regulators?

Phony Cops in ArkansasWe often write about Arkansas’s out-of-control desire to license and regulate more and more businesses. Just last week, we wrote about the ingenious folks at the state Board of Health, who have been trying to force hair braiders to take a thousand hours of useless classes before they’re permitted to braid the hair of a single customer. (Last week, the Board of Health — in the face of a lawsuit by hair braiders — folded.)
However, we want to make one thing clear: we’re very much in favor of regulating cops. Law enforcement officers in Arkansas need to be regulated and controlled by our state government.
This might strike you as common sense, but common sense is not so common: today we’d like to introduce you to the pretend cops at the Arkansas Professional Bail Bondsman Licensing Board.
According to e-mails obtained from a citizen’s FOIA request, it looks like the licensing board has been running a pretend law enforcement agency since 2005.
Brian Marshall, Deputy Director of the Office of Law Enforcement, wrote in a letter to the Arkansas Professional Bail Bondsman Licensing Board last week:

It has recently come to my attention that the Arkansas Professional Bail Bondsman Licensing Board has been operating under the assumption they are a law enforcement agency. This office has reviewed state statutes and can find no enabling legislation to support the fact the Arkansas Professional Bail Bondsman Licensing Board has any law enforcement authority.
Therefore, the Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training does not recognize the Arkansas Professional Bail Bondsman Licensing Board as a law enforcement agency.

In a follow-up interview with The Arkansas Project, Marshall said it was the first time he could recall having to send a letter to a state agency reminding them they weren’t a law enforcement agency and therefore shouldn’t be exercising law enforcement powers.
Marshall said:

We can’t come up with any legislation enabling them to be a law enforcement agency and that’s what precipitated this letter. We didn’t want that misconception to continue. As far as we’re concerned, they’re not a law enforcement agency.

I’ve asked two officials of the Arkansas Professional Bail Bondsman Licensing Board for comment. So far I’ve received no response, but we’ll have more to say about this highly unusual situation in the near future.
(Here’s a taste of coming attractions: it looks like it might be lots of fun for pretend cops to attend law enforcement conferences on the taxpayer’s dime.)
For now, I’ll just close by saying that the fact that the people entrusted with enforcing state government’s laws and regulations can’t be trusted to adhere to those same laws and regulations is a great argument for rolling back the amount of power these bureaucrats have over private citizens and business owners.

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5 thoughts on “Who Will Regulate the Regulators?

  • Chase

    Shotty journalism? I didn’t see any facts in support of the title of this piece.

    • Partne Daugherty

      There is no “SHODDY” journalism regarding this published online article. Do you think that the ArkansasProject would actually publish such allegations without being in possession of documents in support of their position? — Let me assure you, the ArkansasProject and I personally are in possession of more than enough documents to support this position and more. This situation at the APBBLB is quickly turning into what I would label as a full-fledged public corruption investigation. I spent months investigating these keystone cops, who have used our taxpayer generated funds to purchase 2 sets of blue lights, shield badges, patrol bags, leather police-like gloves, police radios, police-like vehicles with law enforcement-certified license plates, a HANDGUN and LOTS of AMMO for Larry Peters to carry around. There are too many forged and/or fraudulent documents to list. —> FYI: It is illegal to possess a handgun on State property without being law enforcement personnel. It is illegal to possess police blue lights unless a person is certified law enforcement personnel…
      I will defend Brian Marshall to the extent that I have ALWAYS found him to be professional. However, I am quite concerned regarding the officer and radar operator certifications being issued from CLEST. Through its employees, the Arkansas Professional Bail Bondsmen Licensing Board manipulated itself into becoming a Law Enforcement Agency, albeit without ANY enabling Legislation. Several APBBLB staff received the “Specialized” Law Enforcement Designation and Certification, albeit without any lawful authority for CLEST to do so. — A simple review of the relevant statutes and CLEST Regulations will reveal a statutory imposed maximum age qualification, which Larry Peters clearly exceeded. —
      In June of 2014, I questioned CLEST regarding Larry Peters being certified and designated as the police “CHIEF” for the APBBLB. This person clearly failed to understand the law. While he pointed me to a portion of the CLEST Regulations regarding CLEST having certain discretionary powers regarding “Specialized” police, a simple review of the statutes and Regulations clearly revealed that this discretion was completely limited to granting this designation to persons from “Law Enforcement” agencies. HOWEVER, CLEST lacked Legislative authority to establish or otherwise grant law enforcement agency status to any entity. That power is strict reserved to the Arkansas Legislature.
      I had a similar complaint regarding the illegal issuance of Radar Operator Certifications to persons who had yet to complete the hours of Police Academy Training necessary to become a certified police officer (432 hours). To date, this complaint has been ignored.
      There are no checks and balances at CLEST regarding these issues. When a person raises such issues, there is no meaningful review available for the complaint to be heard. THUS, no meaningful action is taken to resolve such issues.
      With Today’s issues involving ISUS, and other terroristic organizations, the implications are pretty scary. Wait until a radical-Islamic based private college is established and it desires a private police department. The department itself is responsible for doing background checks. ….. Suddenly, we will have a radical group of rogue police officers taking over the State Capitol and cutting of heads of our Legislators…. While I can think of a few radicals that should be placed at the top of the Hostage list, a Real-Time game of “Pin the Tale on the Jackass” would be more appropriate, but not the aforementioned scenario.
      The citizens of this State deserve a Regulatory Commission to Regulate the Regulatory Commissions. We need a place to file a meaningful complaint to ensure an unbiased investigation.

  • Caleb Taylor

    Smart take.

    • Beth

      I beg to differ with the opinion in which “Chase” has offfered up as a derogatory comment! This was EXCELLENT journalism and the quotes from Brian Marshall over at CLEST clearly backs up all claims that this agency just wanted to be cops & actually tricked their way into the status of becoming a “law enforcement agency”. . . However, the executive director is by his own sworn testimony the “keeper of records” for the APBBLB, . That makes a person want to just sit back and just try for one minute to think of exactly why the “keeper of records”. . would EVER need to labeled as the “Chief” of Police at the APBBLB OR further . . Have the agency certified as a “law enforcement agency” when all he does is travel to Sheriff’s meetings, (which have NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BAIL BOND INDUSTRY) eat & drink on the State of Arkansas, wine & dine his girlfriend. .and then at the end of the day, . He’s still nothing more than the “keeper of records & a blatant thief!!

  • Reggie

    The word is ‘SHODDY’ Chase. If you want to be considered a credible critique, it would be beneficial if you learn to spell. You just negated your argument and the answer is in the fifth paragraph. Good Day?


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