UALR hosts law enforcement seminar about effective crisis leadership

Law enforcement officers from throughout Arkansas have the chance to hear from a police official who led the officer response to the 2014 protests in Ferguson, Missouri, during an Aug. 29 workshop at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

The law enforcement workshop, “Effective Leadership in a Crisis Situation,” will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 29, at the UALR Donaghey Student Center.

The main speakers include Jon Belmar, chief of the St. Louis County Police Department, and Brig. Gen. Gregrey Bacon, deputy adjutant general of the Arkansas National Guard.

UALR Chief of Police Regina Wade-Carter, U.S. Attorney Chris Thyer of the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Little Rock Black Police Officers Association President Melvin Vester will give opening remarks.

The workshop will cover the socioeconomic conditions leading to unrest in Ferguson, the lack of training and department readiness in a crisis situation, and the role of politicians in high-profile situations.

On Aug. 9, 2014, Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis. The shooting prompted protests that lasted for weeks. On Nov. 24, the St. Louis County prosecutor announced that a grand jury decided not to indict Wilson. The decision set off another wave of protests.

In addition, the speakers will discuss the lack of training and department readiness in a crisis situation, and the role of politicians in high-profile situations, the role and negative effects of media and social media in a crisis situation, the behavior of officers during a crisis, and strategies to evaluate physical and emotional effects on officers.

The UALR Department of Public Safety, the Little Rock Black Police Officers Association, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Arkansas are co-hosting the event.

Law enforcement officers may register for the workshop at the event’s website.

For more information, contact Paulette Chappelle, law enforcement coordinator specialist for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Arkansas at 501.340.2677 or paulette.chappelle@usdoj.gov.

More information about Chief Belmar:

Belmar was appointed chief of police Jan. 31, 2014. The St. Louis County Police Department serves a population of more than 1 million, employs nearly 1,100 people, and has budget of more than $113 million.

Chief Jon Belmar
Chief Jon Belmar

He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology from Arkansas State University. Belmar attended the FBI’s Hazardous Device School at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, where he was certified as a bomb technician in 1997.

Belmar began his career in the Affton Southwest Precinct in 1986 as a patrolman. He also served in the South County Precinct and the Tactical Operations Unit before his promotion to sergeant in 1995. As a sergeant, he served in the West County Precinct as a watch supervisor, until he was selected to run the department’s Arson and Explosives Unit in 1996.

In 1998, he was promoted to lieutenant and remained within the Division of Criminal Investigation as the commander of the Bureau of Crimes Against Persons. He was promoted to captain in 2004, when he became the commander of the Affton Southwest Precinct and later a captain in special operations. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 2013 and named the commanding officer of the Division of Special Operations.

More information about Brig. Gen. Bacon:

Bacon was named the deputy adjutant general of the Arkansas National Guard in May 2016. He serves as the principal staff assistant and advisor to the adjutant general.

Bacon, a native of Pine Bluff, enlisted in the Arkansas National Guard in 1985. He received his commission in 1990 after attending Officer Candidate School at Camp Joseph T. Robinson in North Little Rock, where he received the Honor Graduate and Distinguished Honor Graduate awards.

He has over 25 years of military service in field artillery, including deployments during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2007 and 2008. Bacon has held various assignments in the Arkansas National Guard, including aerial recon officer, battery commander, force integration and readiness officer, recruiting and retention commander, and army chief of staff for the Arkansas Army National Guard.  

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