LITTLE ROCK – With the increased concern about school safety in the wake of recent events around the nation, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced today that he has issued an executive order to reinstate the Arkansas School Safety Commission.

“The recent violence in Texas was a stark reminder that the work of securing our schools is never done,” Governor Hutchinson said. “That is why I am calling the Arkansas School Safety Commission back into service. Members of the commission, which I created in 2018, submitted thirty significant recommendations in their original 124-page report. School districts around the state have implemented many of the recommendations.

“But it is crucial that we constantly assess the security of our schools and keep abreast of the best ways to ensure our children and educators are safe. The original commission built a solid foundation on which to continue this vital work.”

Members of the commission will review the final report from the Commission in 2018. They will update the analysis of the safety of K-12 schools throughout the state taking into consideration the physical and mental health of students. The Commission will identify any new recommendations of best practices in school safety that have developed since 2018.

The School Safety Commission’s first meeting will be Tuesday, June 14, at the state capitol, and the initial report is due to Governor Hutchinson on August 1, 2022.

The commission will include a representative from the Arkansas Attorney General’s office, the Arkansas Division of Emergency Management (ADEM), the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), and the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy (ALETA).

The commission also will include the director of the CJI, a county sheriff, a public school superintendent, a public school teacher, a public school counselor, and a former federal law enforcement officer.

Members of the commission are as follows:

  • Dr. Cheryl May – Chair
    Director, Criminal Justice Institute
    University of Arkansas System

  • Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
    Arkansas Attorney General, or her designee

  • A.J. Gary
    Director, Division of Emergency Management
    Arkansas Department of Public Safety

  • Dr. David Hopkins
    Superintendent, Clarksville School District

  • Donna Wilchie 
    School Counselor, Conway School District

  • Tim Cain
    Director, Division of Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation
    Arkansas Department of Education

  • Crystal Braswell
    Office of Coordinated Support and Services, Division of Elementary and Secondary Education
    Arkansas Department of Education

  • Tim Helder
    Sheriff, Washington County

  • Bill Temple
    Retired Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation

  • Dr. Laura Dunn
    Director, UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute

  • Secretary Jami Cook
    Director, Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy
    Secretary, Arkansas Department of Public Safety

  • John Allison
    Teacher, Vilonia High School

  • Marvin Burton
    Principal, Little Rock School District

  • Chris Chapmond
    Chief, Hot Springs Police Department

    President, Arkansas Association of Chiefs of Police

  • Patricia Gann
    Deputy Director, Division of Aging, Adult, and Behavioral Health Services
    Arkansas Department of Human Services

  • Bill Gossage
    Deputy Chief of Staff, External Operations, Governor’s Office

  • Linda Graham
    School Psychologist, Nettleton School District

  • Dr. Mike Hernandez
    Executive Director, Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators

  • Bill Hollenbeck
    Chief of Police, Fort Smith Public Schools

  • Ricky Hopkins
    Parent, Prescott School District

  • Tom Jenkins
    Chief, Rogers Fire Department

  • Lori Poston
    Vice President of Clinical Services, Northeast Region, Arisa Health

  • Courtney Salas-Ford
    Chief Legal Counsel, Division of Elementary and Secondary Education
    Arkansas Department of Education

  • Paula Stone
    Assistant Director, Children’s Services, Division of Aging, Adult, and Behavioral Health Services
    Arkansas Department of Human Services