Emma Davis and Layla Holloway

University of Central Arkansas students Emma Davis and Layla Holloway were appointed to the recently created Task Force to Advance the State of Law Enforcement in Arkansas.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson created the task force to study and analyze the best practices and procedures for recruiting, training and maintaining law enforcement officers in Arkansas. The task force will make recommendations to the governor on enhancing trust between law enforcement and communities and improvements or changes needed to enhance the profession of law enforcement to ensure compliance with standards.

Both Davis and Holloway are Van Buren natives. The two were invited to Little Rock for a meeting with Hutchinson and other community activists across the state after they organized a Black Lives Matter protest in Fort Smith

“In this position, I hope to be a part of a monumental change in how the police departments in Arkansas respond to citizens,” said Davis. “I also hope to make sure that if an officer fails to do their duty of protecting and serving the citizens, they are held accountable for their actions.”

Davis is a sophomore majoring in political science. As a student, she serves as political action and juvenile justice co-chair for the UCA chapter of the NAACP. She is also a member of the Feminist Union, Women of Excellence and Griot Society.

“I hope to accomplish true change within Arkansas. Police brutality is a symptom of the issue, not the cause. I want to see all consequences of systemic racism eliminated not just within law enforcement,” Holloway said. “Accountability is one of my biggest concerns.”

Holloway is a sophomore majoring in public administration and sociology. She is a member of Dancers United, the Political Science Club, UCA Young Democrats, Women of Excellence and Bears at the Ballot. 

The task force will make its final recommendations to Hutchinson by Dec. 31, 2020. The work of the task force will be concluded upon submission of that final report.