Randy Harvey To Be Named Lowell Police Chief, Replacing Joe Landers

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Captain Randy Harvey

Capt. Randy Harvey will be named Lowell police chief at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, replacing Joe Landers, who died after a motorcycle wreck in April in Florida, said Mayor Eldon Long.

Long will announce his appointment at the 6 p.m. meeting. Two-thirds of the eight council members would be needed to overturn the mayor’s appointment, he said. Long said he does not expect the council to reject his appointment.

He said Harvey is an accomplished leader.

“He has proven his leadership ability and has excellent training and is very loyal to the department,” the mayor said.

Harvey has been with the Lowell Police Department since 1998. He also has been a deputy with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and a patrol officer with the Rogers Police Department.

Landers was on life support at a Florida hospital for nearly a week before dying from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.

The announcement of Landers’ death was made May 4 in a news conference with Long at the Lowell City Council Chambers.

City officials and residents lowered the U.S. flag outside the Lowell City Hall to half-staff following the news conference. Then, Long led the crowd in prayer.

“There will never be another individual like him,”Long said. “We need to go through this grieving process together.”

Harvey was at FBI training at the time but was slated to take over as interim chief after five weeks of training. Until Harvey took over, Lt. Tim Kuth led the Lowell Police Department.

U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., also expressed his sympathies.

“I am saddened by the tragic news of the passing of Chief Landers,” he said in a statement. “Joe dedicated his life to public safety and his work made a great impact on the community of Lowell.  He was well-respected by the citizens of Lowell and his presence will be greatly missed.  My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., also sent his thoughts and prayers to the Lowell community and Landers’ family through a statement.

“His impact on law enforcement and his community was felt throughout the region, and he was one of those people who made Northwest Arkansas such a special place,” Womack said.

Landers, 51, who was in Florida attending the Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally in Panama City Beach as a spectator, was injured when a Toyota Camry driven by Jimmy John Christo, 52, of Panama City, pulled out in front of Landers’ motorcycle without signaling.

Landers was ejected from the motorcycle, over the hood of the car and suffered a fractured skull, broken pelvis and broken arm among other injuries.
He had been on life support since Friday at Bay Medical Center in the Florida panhandle.

The car fled the scene after the accident, but authorities later arrested Christo, police said. Christo admitted to drinking an hour before the accident, according to investigators. He’s charged with felony possession of marijuana and other offenses, including fleeing the scene of an accident and other traffic violations.