Review panel upholds Lambert suspension

Two members of a civilian review panel voted Thursday to uphold a one day suspension a detective was given by Police Chief Brenda Davis-Jones.

The panel heard the case of Pine Bluff Police Detective Jerry Lambert who left his Taser in a police car where it came up missing.

The disposition form upholding the suspension was signed by Ted Davis, the chief of staff for Mayor Carl A. Redus Jr., and Civic Center Building Manager Steve Stephens. The third member of the panel, Assistant City Attorney Daryl Taylor declined to sign the form.

The review panel replaced the Civil Service Commission which was abolished by the Pine Bluff City Council last year.

The disposition form cited police department policy which states that “Taser should be maintained in the same degree of care and discretion as a firearm.”

When he testified before the review panel Aug. 28, Lambert admitted that he had left the Taser in his equipment bag which also contained a flashlight, report pads and other items in a police car, and when he checked the bag the next day, the Taser was gone.

The Taser reappeared a few months later, Lambert said during his testimony.

“The problem was not keeping up with the Taser,” Davis-Jones said in explaining her decision to suspend Lambert for a day. “We don’t know who had it. It was missing for a period of time.”

Lambert had also argued that department policy regarding how to maintain equipment was not clear, and said he did not carry his Taser on his side like he did his weapon, Lambert said that “is not mandated by department policy.”