Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner is a finalist for the police chief’s job in Syracuse, N.Y., a department spokesman confirmed today.

Spokesman Michael Ford said there’d be no other comment.


Buckner was a finalist last year for the top police job in Charleston, S.C.

Buckner came to Little Rock in 2014 from Kentucky. He’s been the subject of some controversy. He’s African-American, but has had disputes with the Black Police Officers Association and has come under fire recently for tactics of undercover narcotics officers in dozens of no-knock raids. Civil rights lawyers have taken up the case of a number of people who say they were improperly targeted by the raids, which employed explosive devices for entry in many cases. Lawyers Mike Laux and Ben Crump had a news conference today to show more video of drug raids and add to those idenitfied in past reporting by Radley Balko of the Washington Post.


Earlier in October, reported that the search for a new chief tere had been narrowed to six candidates, with one being the department’s current deputy chief. That search apparently has been narrowed to three, according to a KATV report quoring the head of the Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police. The FOP was informed by Buckner of his candidacy. Reporting today in Syracuse indicated a search committee was expected to have a decision by next month.

Buckner has received less than a ringing endorsement from candidates in this year’s mayor’s race, with some sentimet among them for his replacement. The chief is hired by City Manager Bruce Moore.