ERIC HIGGINS: Only internal candidate to be next Little Rock police chief.

City Manager Bruce Moore said today that he’d interview seven candidates for the job of Little Rock police chief to succeed the retiring Stuart Thomas. The seven include one candidate from within the department, Assistant Chief Eric Higgins. The local agent in charge of the Little Rock office of the Secret Service, Brian Marr, is also among the candidates.

The city received 59 applications, including two other internal candidates, Capts. Alice Fulk and Patrice Smith, who did not make the cut. One woman is on the list, from Rockford, Ill. At least three black candidates are on the list — Higgins and applicants from Louisville and Kansas City. Little Rock police treatment of blacks has been a recurring issue and subject of recent legal action over use of force.


The city announcement:

LITTLE ROCK – Little Rock City Manager Bruce T. Moore released Wednesday the names of seven candidates who will be interviewed for the position of Little Rock Police Chief.

Interviews are scheduled to be completed by the end of this week. Once all interviews have been conducted the remaining top candidates will individually participate in public receptions so that the citizens of Little Rock can meet each candidate and be able to interact during a question and answer forum. The public receptions will occur in May.

“The City is fortunate that many seasoned, qualified professionals applied for the position of Police Chief,” said Moore. “I look forward to interviewing all seven candidates, hearing their plans for managing the City’s largest department and protecting the residents of Little Rock.”

The seven candidates are:

Kenton Buckner, Assistant Chief of Police
Louisville Metro Police Department
Louisville, KY

Terence Hall, Assistant Chief of Police (retired)
Kansas City Police Department
Kansas City, KS

Eric Higgins, Assistant Chief of Police
Little Rock Police Department
Little Rock, AR

Brian Marr, Special Agent-in-Charge
United States Secret Service
Little Rock, AR

Blaise Mikulewicz, Chief Deputy – Detention Services
Dallas County Sheriff’s Department
Dallas, TX

John Ray, Executive Chief Deputy
Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office
Fort Worth, TX

Lori Sweeney, Deputy Chief
Rockford Police Department
Rockford, IL

Current Little Rock Police Chief Stuart Thomas announced in January that he will retire in June of this year. He joined the Little Rock Police Department in 1978 and has served honorably for 35 years.

Thomas served at every progressive rank in the Department throughout his tenure. He served as Assistant Chief of Police for nine years prior to his initial retirement and subsequent return in April 2005 as Police Chief.

The decision is Moore’s to make. It doesn’t require City Board ratification. But you could expect Moore to keep city leaders apprised of the process.