Fort Smith Names New Police Chief


FORT SMITH (KFSM) — After a seven-month search, the city of Fort Smith will soon have a new police chief.

Nathaniel Clark, former police chief of Pine Bluff, will take over as the head of the department, according to a press release by city administrator Carl Geffken on Monday (Oct. 10). Clark has also served as the deputy police chief of Albany, Georgia.

Clark, a Pine Bluff native, has spent 31 years in law enforcement. He was chosen out of 33 applicants.

The position was vacated in March when former chief Kevin Lindsey resigned, and Major Dean Pitts has served as the interim chief for the past seven months.

“Fort Smith was blessed with having so many qualified applicants for our next Police Chief; the decision was difficult, but based on my vision for the Police Department, the needs of our Police Department, and the desires of our community, Nathaniel Clark is the best choice,” Geffken said. “Clark understands that Policing in the 21st century needs strong community involvement, support for our Police Officers, and maintaining the assurance that Fort Smith as a safe and secure city.”

An internet search for the new chief turns up many articles about Clark’s time as the police chief of Pine Bluff. Geffken addressed the articles about him being fired from his position as police chief.

“I know what has happened. He was disclosed to us beforehand, and he went through the process, offered up the documentation that showed that he was retired as an officer in good standing from the city of Pine Bluff and that there had been other police chiefs after him in Pine Bluff who have had similar issues. If he were the only one that would be questionable but it went through the federal court systems, and they are the ones that exonerated him as well,” Geffken said. “So, you know it’s usually not the person if there’s been more than one.”


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