It is official! Yesterday, March 29, 2021, Interim Kristi Bennett of the Texarkana Arkansas Police Department was promoted to the position of Chief of Police. Chief Bennett will be the department's first female chief replacing her predecessor, Chief Robert Harrison, of 31 years. She holds a master’s degree from Southern Arkansas University and has served as the Interim since September 1, 2020.

According to a press release, Chief Kristi Bennett began working at the police department in 2005, where she dedicated herself to building and maintaining relationships within our community. Bennett started her career as a patrol officer, quickly moving through the ranks and becoming the department's public information officer (PIO.) During her position as the PIO, she developed and spearheaded the PRIDE Academy when the city needed an outreach program for our community's youth. This fantastic program has changed many lives, not only for our youth but our officers and the community we serve. Chief Bennett has built a strong working relationship within our community and is respected statewide, receiving local, state, and national recognition for her law enforcement work, including the TOP COP Award from the National Association of Police Organizations in Washington D.C.

TAPD

TAPD stated they are excited as well as fortunate to have her as their chief. She cares for this police department and the people who build it. We welcome Kristi Bennett as our Police Chief, and we will support her.

The press release went on to say:

Over the last seven months, the Texarkana Arkansas Police Department has grown into a strong family of like-minded individuals with extreme talent, working together to provide exceptional police service to every citizen of Texarkana, AR. We look forward to hearing continued suggestions from citizens and employees alike, ones that fit within the guiding principles of our agency that we can incorporate.

As far as the city and the future of TAPD, we will continue to establish excellent working relationships with regional law enforcement agencies, city government officials, and local community members. By

including the city government in the agency's operations, we believe we can give a better understanding of how best to bring about the changes we are looking for.

Additionally, with the help of civic and community leaders in Texarkana, we will continue building and strengthening the bond of trust we want to establish between TAPD and the community.

TAPD is a highly motivated agency. With the continued effort toward change, there are several things that can be done to make it a highly competitive one that will encourage employee retention and strengthen morale. By enlisting input and suggestions from every officer and professional staff employee’s at TAPD, we have already implemented several changes toward this goal. Some of these changes include a focus on recruiting motivated and educated candidates, establishing elite training for our employees' physical and mental well-being, updating outdated policies that fail to meet the needs of a changing society, and actively seeking more community relationships.

By continuing to be open to the suggestions brought before us, we believe TAPD will expand into the type of agency that any city would be proud to have representing them and any employee would be happy to be a part of. We look forward to continuing to set new goals and achieving them.

As an experienced law enforcement officer dedicated to the community she serves, Chief Bennett has spent the last 17 years in a job that she dearly loves. Her motivation and drive to always be better and attempt to improve others' situations have provided an exceptional and successful career.

With Chief Bennett, you will find a loyal individual that will work diligently to uphold strong values and objectives to build and strengthen professionalism and morale within the agency, which will provide the community with exceptional police services.

It is truly an honor to welcome Chief Kristi Bennett as the Chief of the Texarkana Arkansas Police Department.

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