Arkansas Highway Police
Patch
Badge
Common nameState Highway Police
AbbreviationAHP
Agency overview
Formed1929 (92 years ago) (1929)
Annual budget$4.9 Million
Legal personalityGovernmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionArkansas, USA
Size53,179 square miles (137,730 km2)
Population2,834,797 (2007 est.)[1]
Legal jurisdiction Arkansas
Governing bodyGovernment of Arkansas
General nature
Operational structure
HeadquartersLittle Rock, Arkansas
Officers210
Agency executive
  • Jay Thompson, Chief
Parent agencyArkansas Department of Transportation
Website
Arkansas Highway Police

Founded in 1929, the Arkansas Highway Police is the oldest state law enforcement agency in the state of Arkansas. Today, its main purpose is to enforce rules and regulations of the Arkansas Department of Transportation (formerly the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department). Its other main focuses are Motor Carrier Enforcement, Traffic Control, Hazardous Material enforcement, and drug interdiction. It is the second-largest State Police agency in Arkansas, behind the Arkansas State Police.

History

In the 1929 regular session, the Arkansas General Assembly passed Act 299, which was later entitled the State Road Patrol Act. The result of the act was the assignment of administrative oversight of the Arkansas Road Patrol to the Arkansas Highway Department. The men appointed to fill the twenty allocated positions for the patrol became the first enforcement officers in Arkansas to be officially commissioned by state law. The badges issued to the officers were inscribed with, "Arkansas State Highway Police".

Through the years following the creation of the Patrol, the unit was transferred between various agencies, never for more than 15 years. For a time, the agency was a part of the Arkansas Revenue Department, creating a working relationship that transcended all subsequent relocations of the enforcement group. Today, all Highway Police Officers carry a commission as an Agent of the Commissioner of Revenues.

In 1963, the enforcement effort that began as the State Road Patrol, once again became a part of the Arkansas Highway Department. In 1979, the Division's name was changed to the Arkansas Highway Police. In 1989, the powers and duties of the Transportation Safety Agency were transferred to the Highway Police and officers began to include enforcement of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations.

Today, the Arkansas Highway Police is a nationally recognized leader in the fields of drug interdiction, motor carrier safety and hazardous materials enforcement, and training. Highway Police officers serve as instructors for the Criminal Justice Institute, National Training Center, Transportation Safety Institute, and the Drug Interdiction Assistance Program.[2]

Authority of AHP officers

When enforcing commercial vehicle size, weight, and safety laws, AHP officers are authorized by Arkansas Law[3][4] to stop and inspect commercial vehicles in Arkansas without establishing probable cause or reasonable suspicion.

By statute, AHP is the only police agency in Arkansas that can conduct safety inspections of commercial motor vehicles and is the only agency that can cite drivers and companies for violations of commercial vehicle safety regulations. However any law enforcement officer can stop, cite, and/or arrest commercial operators in Arkansas with a violation of state traffic or criminal statutes.

All officers of the Arkansas Highway Police, regardless of assignment, are also vested with full and complete law enforcement powers of arrest for all crimes both on and off the highways of Arkansas. In addition, officers share concurrent jurisdiction with both the Arkansas State Police and all county Sheriff's Offices in the state.

Organization

AHP is organizationally divided into five Districts, operating 11 weigh stations and roughly 80 mobile patrol units. Both fixed weigh station facilities and patrol units are dispersed geographically around the state to ensure maximum coverage of major commercial transportation highway routes.[5]

Prior to the 1990s, Arkansas had 20 weigh stations throughout the state. Due to consolidation and a shift in enforcement focus to mobile units, Arkansas current network of 11 Weigh Stations in Arkansas are all located near the borders of the state, and only on major traffic corridors. All patrol units operated by AHP are equipped to weigh, measure, and inspect commercial vehicles without being near a weigh station.

The Arkansas Department of Transportation maintains over 200 roadside pads for AHP Officers on Secondary highways throughout the state. These pads are not fixed weigh stations but extended portions of roadways that give AHP officers room to safely weigh and inspect trucks on highways not provided with weigh stations.


Arkansas Highway Police Sport Utility Vehicle in West Memphis
Arkansas Highway Police Sport Utility Vehicle in West Memphis
Locations of current Arkansas Weigh-Stations[6]
Traffic Route Closest Arkansas City Mile Marker Direction Notes Closest State Border
US-71/US-59 Ashdown .01 Northbound and Southbound At the Arkansas bank of the Red River Texas
I-30 Hope 26 Eastbound Texas
I-30 Hope 27 Westbound Texas
I-40 Alma 9 Eastbound Oklahoma
I-40 Alma 9 Westbound Oklahoma
I-40 West Memphis 282 Westbound At the Arkansas bank of the Mississippi River Tennessee
I-40 Lehi 274 Eastbound Tennessee
I-49 Springdale 72.2 Northbound Missouri
I-49 Springdale 70.7 Southbound Missouri
I-55 West Memphis 1 Northbound At the Arkansas bank of the Mississippi River Tennessee
I-55 Marion 9 Southbound Tennessee

See also

References

  1. ^ https://www.census.gov/popest/states/NST-ann-est.html Archived 2010-11-08 at the Library of Congress Web Archives 2007 Population Estimates
  2. ^ "Arkansas Highway Police". arkansashighways.com. Retrieved 2015-10-18.
  3. ^ "2017 Arkansas Code :: Title 27 - Transportation :: Subtitle 3 - Motor Vehicles and Their Equipment :: Chapter 35 - Size and Load Regulations :: Subchapter 1 - General Provisions :: § 27-35-108. Authority to weigh vehicles and require removal of excess loads". Justia Law. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  4. ^ "18 U.S. Code § 40 - Commercial motor vehicles required to stop for inspections". LII / Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  5. ^ "Arkansas Commercial vehicle safety Plan" (PDF).
  6. ^ J, Admin. "State of Arkansas Weigh Station Page". Retrieved 2019-11-18.