KENTON BUCKNER

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.

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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.

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Earlier in October, syracuse.com 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.

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