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Pine Bluff hires interim police chief

After nearly a month without a police chief, the Pine Bluff Police Department has a new leader. Mayor Carl Redus named Collier Hill, a 30 year law enforcement veteran as interim chief of the department.
After nearly a month without a police chief, the Pine Bluff Police Department has a new leader. Mayor Carl Redus named Collier Hill, a 30 year law enforcement veteran as interim chief of the department. Hill replaces John Howell, whom Redus fired for what he calls insubordination.

"I am happy to announce retired Tucson, Arizona Police Chief Collier Hill will be joining us as interim Chief of Police," says Pine Bluff Mayor Carl Redus.

With this announcement the Pine Bluff native officially became head of the Pine Bluff police Department. Hill, who currently resides in Arizona, has a lengthy law enforcement history including time as a police chief. He believes he has what it takes to curb crime in Pine Bluff and get the department back on track after the controversial firing of Police Chief John Howell by Mayor Carl Redus.

"I have a zero tolerance for law enforcement but I have a love for people and I will marry those two together," says Hill.

Mayor Redus is pretty confident that Hill can do the job. He chose him after interviewing six others within the Pine Bluff Police Department.

"I made the decision to go with the guy to help us go in the direction we need to go. We have an excellent police department. I didn't find it within the department, not that I couldn't, I didn't," says Redus.

While some who live in Pine Bluff don't doubt Hills abilities they have concerns about an interim chief from out of state.

"It may be somewhat difficult because he is coming from out of state to deal with the problems here in Pine Bluff and not being familiar with it it's going to take him a while to do that," says Reverend Jesse Turner.

But others just want to put this behind them and move on.

"What we are going to do from today is start a new era of the Pine Bluff Police Department with a new chief. Whatever his goals and objectives are is what ours are," Bob Rawlinson with the Pine Bluff Police Department.

Some also believe appointing Hil was a bit premature. All of the necessary background checks haven't been completed and Hill is still making sure he has the proper certification to work law enforcement in Arkansas. Hill stressed that he doesn't want the job permanently, it's strictly interim.

The Pine Bluff Police Department has been without a chief since March 8th when the mayor fired John Howell. Howell tried to get his job back but failed to get a two thirds majority vote from the council. The search for a permanent police chief continues.
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