New police chief excited to begin – News – Press Argus-Courier – Arkansas News

New police chief excited to begin – News – Press Argus-Courier – Arkansas News

Jamie Hammond is “super excited” but a bit nervous as he prepares to become the next chief for the Van Buren Police Department.

Mayor Bob Freeman announced Tuesday the selection of Hammond, currently a captain for the Fort Smith Police Department where he has worked since August 1991.

Hammond will replace current chief Kenneth Bell, who will retire June 30 after 32 years with the department, the last 16 years serving as chief.

“I have all kinds of emotions going on,” Hammond said. “I am looking forward to the challenge and I am ready to get started, but I am nervous because I have never been a police chief before.”

Hammond noted he has worked with plenty of chiefs in the past and has learned some good things and “some not so good things.”

“I believe I can put these things together to make Van Buren a better place to live,” he said.

Hammond said he plans to leave the Fort Smith Police Department by mid-June.

“I would like to work with Chief Bell some,” he said. “I don’t want to leave things hanging in Fort Smith, but I would like to hit the ground running in Van Buren.”

Being a citizen of Van Buren, Hammond said he has witnessed the many positive changes the city has made.

“Van Buren has a top-notch police department which I hope to make better,” Hammond said. “I will be open to suggestions. I want to do what is best for Van Buren and its citizens.”

Replacing retiring Capt. Tony Kaman will be one of the first challenges for Hammond.

“I will have to reply on input from the people in the department and those in the…

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