SWAT2The Benton Police Department established the SWAT Team in 2000 as a response to an increase in “special threat” situations in Benton.  The members of the specially trained team are faced with varied, multi-faceted missions.  They respond to dangerous situations that include barricaded subjects, serving high-risk warrants and the arrest of potentially violent suspects.

Selection for the SWAT Team is a difficult process.  All applicants must be sworn Benton Police Department officers. Initial tryouts are physically and mentally demanding.  Applicants must be agile, physically fit and capable of accomplishing multiple tasks under extremely stressful conditions.  Once every challenge is met, the applicant is interviewed before a review board consisting of SWAT Team members and the SWAT Commander.  Of the numerous applicants, only a handful are selected to attend the SWAT school held in Camden.

Read more: SWAT

The Benton Police Department currently has two K-9 teams in service.

Howard and Rocko resized1 French and Sam resized1

The K-9s, “Sam” (Officer French) and “Rocko" (Officer Howard), are cross-trained in patrol and narcotics detection. The department’s K-9 teams play a critical role in the day-to-day operations of the police department. The support and resources these K-9s provide to patrol and narcotic operations is immeasurable. These teams have been credited with numerous drug seizures, apprehensions of violent offenders, and searches for persons while aiding the Benton Police and other state agencies.

Currently, the K-9 handlers and their K-9s are assigned to both the Patrol Division and Special Investigations Unit.

In addition to their duties as K-9 handlers, the K-9 Teams make up the department’s Benton Interstate Criminal Enforcement Patrol, or BICEP Team. These officers are specially trained to conduct high volume, professional traffic stops to seek out and arrest felony suspects traveling on Interstate 30, which runs through the heart of the City of Benton. Enforcing crimes ranging from interstate narcotics smuggling, stolen vehicles, human smuggling and human trafficking operations, wanted fugitives, as well as traveling identity theft and shoplifting rings, the BICEP Team focuses on all aspects of criminal law. Officers on the BICEP Team provide an increase in marked patrol unit presence on the interstate throughout the city, and often assist stranded motorists with changing tires as well as assisting State Police Troopers with collision investigations on I-30. Members of the BICEP Team have been responsible for the location and recovery of several stolen vehicles and stolen license plates, location and recovery of recently stolen property, arrest of numerous wanted fugitives from Arkansas as well as across the country, the identification and arrest of nationwide organized shoplifting and identity theft rings, the identification and arrest of individuals involved in international human trafficking operations, and the seizure of hundreds of pounds of illicit drugs traveling the interstate highway through our City. BICEP Team members have also been directly responsible for catching individuals that had just committed serious felonious crimes within the city, and then attempted to flee on the interstate.

K-9 Sam, age 6 (almost 7), is a Belgian Malinois. He was imported from Mexico to the Little Rock K-9 Academy, where he was trained by Tony Smith (owner/instructor) and staff. Sam has been with BNPD since 2016 and is trained and certified as a Narcotics and Patrol dog by the National Narcotic Detector Dogs Association (NNDDA). He is certified to alert to the odors of four narcotics and is also trained in handler protection and patrol work, aiding officers in the apprehension of suspects. Sam is very friendly and loves everyone he meets. When not at work, he is a homebody and loves to take naps and play with his family.

K-9 Rocko is also a 6-year-old Belgian Malinois who joined BNPD in 2016. He was bred and born in Arkansas and also trained at the Little Rock K-9 Academy. His training includes Narcotics Detection, Tracking, Handler Protection, and Suspect Apprehension. Rocko is certified through the state of Arkansas and the National Narcotic Detector Dogs Association. He is an energetic and loving dog that loves kids and meeting new people. He's also larger than K-9 Sam, but given the majority of humans they both interact with are larger than them, they live by the motto "Size matters not."

Officer Howard has been employed with the Benton Police Department since July 2016, and Officer French joined BNPD in May 2020.

A police recruit struggling to catch on to the ins and outs of police work once commented, "I never realized how much art was involved in police work." Put a little thought to that and you realized that police operation is nowhere close to being a science where numbers rule that day. On that contrary, the art of police work is an ever changing environment where no two situations are the same and every situation is affected by innumerable variables from the weather to the complex emotions of complex people. Police operations require the very definition of ART, "superior skills that can be learned by study, practice and observation." Hence the task of the Field Training Officer, or FTO: to orient and prepare recruits to enter the field of police operations where law enforcement is but the tip of the iceberg. The Benton Police Department FTO program is modeled after the famed San Jose FTO program which is credited with being the first formal FTO program in the U.S. Modified to meet our needs as they change, the FTO program currently involves a twelve week ride along program in three stages where a recruit moves from observing and orientating, to being moderately responsible for task, to being responsible for all of the task that an officer would face on a daily basis.

Read more: FTO Program

Benton Police Department Accident Reconstruction Team

The Benton Police Department Accident Reconstruction Team (ART) consists of five officers that are highly trained in the investigation of traffic crashes. The team is tasked in investigating traffic crashes that have resulted in a fatality or there is likely to be a fatality from the injuries received in the traffic crash.  They are called to the scene by the patrol division when deemed necessary and when they arrive they take over the investigation. These officers are trained in photography of the scene, how to collect and interpret the specific evidence at a traffic crash, document the scene (notes and sketches), and then put together a reconstruction of what led up to the crash, impact and post impact events.  Some of the information gathered from the scene can be entered into mathematical formulas that determine vehicle speeds, drag factor of the surface, the distance and time traveled by the vehicle, the perception and reaction time of the operators, and occupant locations in vehicle based on injuries.  All this information is used to determine whom is at fault in the crash, and if it could have been avoidable.  Based on the findings of the reconstruction it is then decided if criminal charges will be pursued in the incident.   


The Honor Guard is a voluntary assignment made up of a group of dedicated professionals of the Benton Police Department.  Founded by Chief Kirk Lane in May 2009, the purpose the Honor Guard is to assist and support the families of officers killed or injured in the line of duty as well as paying tribute to deceased active or retired personnel. Additionally, The Honor Guard provides services at funerals, parades, memorials, dedications, and other ceremonial occasions; both celebratory and solemn. 

Read more: Honor Guard

The Benton C.N.T. is comprised of 6 Negotiators. These Negotiators received extensive training from various agencies including the FBI and NYPD. This training consists of not only Crisis Negotiation techniques but also in Crisis Management. The C.N.T. responds to a multitude of different calls for service including: Hostage Situations, Barricaded Persons, Emotionally Disturbed Persons, and Suicide Attempts. During these calls for service the Negotiators use psychological techniques known as Active Listening Skills to calm the situation before negotiations can take place. Negotiators work very closely with the S.W.A.T. Team by gaining and relaying any tactical information pertaining to the situation at hand. The main goal of the C.N.T. is to have the situation at hand be resolved in a peaceful manner.

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At the Benton Police Department we are especially proud of our officers that have obtained the certification of Drug Recognition Expert.  The training to achieve certification is rigorous and only a hand full of officers in the country have completed it.  Out of the approximately 14,000 police officers in the state of Arkansas only about 150 of them are a certified DRE.  We are proud to have three of those DREs in our department.

A drug recognition expert must have successfully completed an approved course in the Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFSTs) before beginning the three-phase Drug Evaluation and Classification (DEC) Program, which includes the following phases:

Phase One: The 16-hour DRE Pre-school, which includes an overview of the DRE evaluation procedures, the seven drug categories, eye examinations and proficiency in conducting the SFSTs.

Phase Two: The 56-hour DRE School which includes an overview of the drug evaluation procedures, expanded sessions on each drug category, drug combinations, examination of vital signs, case preparation, courtroom testimony, and Curriculum Vitae (C.V.) preparation. At the conclusion of the 7-days of training, the officer must successfully complete a written examination before moving to the third and final phase of training.

Phase Three: During this phase the candidate DRE must complete a minimum of 12 drug evaluations under the supervision of a trained DRE instructor. Of those 12 evaluations, the officer must identify an individual under the influence of at least three of the seven drug categories and obtain a minimum 75% toxicological corroboration rate. The officer must then pass a final knowledge examination and be approved by two DRE instructors before being certified as a certified DRE.

Many states require an application to be considered for DRE training. The application form provides detailed information about the applicant's work history and involvement in impaired driving enforcement.

Current BNPD Drug Recognition Experts: 

Sgt. Jamar Bennett

Sgt. Jason Moore

Ofc. Charles Anderson

Ofc. Brett Davidson

Ofc. Matthew Kuntz

Ofc. Bryan Wilfong

Read more: About the DRE Program