Believed to be the first policy of its kind in the nation, the Arkansas State Police have outlined new protocols for officers serving as security personnel at collegiate sporting events in the state.
Under the policy, state troopers are no longer allowed to accept free tickets from athletic programs or any gift with a value that exceeds the $100 limit set by state law. In addition, troopers are to limit their activities to law enforcement and avoid any activity that may present the appearance of the trooper being part of the team. They are not to use state police vehicles in the transportation of athletic team staff or team members, unless it relates to the security assignment.
State police sergeants, rather than the highest-ranking officers, will be given first consideration for security detail assignment.
In late June, the Arkansas Ethics Commission found probable cause to believe State Police Capt. Jeffrey Lance King violated the law by accepting more than $4,000 worth of gifts, including game tickets and a Sugar Bowl ring, from the University of Arkansas athletic program over a two-year period.
King, a state police troop commander who provided game-day security for the Razorbacks, transported then Arkansas head football coach Bobby Petrino to the hospital after Petrino's much-publicized motorcycle accident in April.
Petrino was fired when it was discovered he had been involved in an extramarital affair with an athletic department employee, who was with him at the time of the wreck, and later lied about it. King received a letter of caution from the ethics commission and was disciplined for accepting the gifts, though the action did not include termination.