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New Pine Bluff police chief ready for the challenge

Wednesday, Mayor Carl Redus introduced his new hire to lead the department after firing former chief John Howell in March.
There is new leadership for the police department in Pine Bluff. Wednesday, Mayor Carl Redus introduced his new hire to lead the department after firing former chief John Howell in March.

"She was the right person at the right time with the right skills and the right managerial skills,” Redus said.

He proudly presented his choice to lead the Pine Bluff Police Department, Brenda Davis-Jones from Macon, Georgia. She says she understands the situation at hand.

"I’m not nervous at all. To me, it's all about law enforcement. It's all about coming in and doing the best job you can do. Whatever happens in the future, it happens. I have no control over that. All I can do is deal with what's going on right now and do it to the best of my ability," Davis-Jones said.

It’s something some doubted initially. Davis-Jones recently served as police chief of Fort Valley State University, a Georgia school with some 3,000 students.

"That was the thing that concerned me when I looked at her brief history, that she never dealt with being the chief of a city this size," said Councilman Charles Boyd.

"She wouldn't have gotten hired if we weren't confident she could do the job,” Redus said.

This as Howell takes the mayor to court, claiming Redus fired him in part because he is white.

"Do you think the mayor would've recommended a white police chief?” we asked Boyd.

“I think so. I don't think it was just a black and white issue," he said.

"I'm in the right place," Davis-Jones added.

It seems her work is already cut out for her.

City officials held a retirement reception for Collier Hill who served as interim-chief for three months. He did not apply for the permanent position.
 
Davis-Jones has 25 years experience in law enforcement, including being a retired major from the Macon Police Department.

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