Police Chief Proposes Plan To Restructure Department Ranks

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- Fort Smith Police Chief Nathaniel Clark announced on Tuesday (May 9) that he is seeking city leaders approval to restructure the police department.

"We want to enhance our department. We want to enhance our service delivery to the community and one way we can do it is to make sure our rank structure is in the norm with other departments," Clark said.

Clark presented an ordinance to the Fort Smith Board of Directors that would bring more of a military style structure to the department. Currently, Clark said the department does not have any middle management positions that consist of lieutenant rank. The chief is proposing that the department add seven of those positions with an entry level salary of $60,000.

To make the additions, Clark said it would mean cutting three upper level management positions of captain and four lower level management positions of sergeant. Promotions, retirements and attrition will play a part of making the change, Clark said.

"Adding the seven lieutenants and doing away with the captains and sergeants by promotion and or attrition only costs the city, in the fiscal year in 2018 approximately $4,000," he said.

Clark noted one Captain position is currently open due to retirement. He also said one sergeant position is also open.

"It's critically important that we bring our department in line with other major departments throughout the state. We are the second largest agency in this state. We have to act the part, be the part and dress the part," Clark said.

Also included in the ordinance is the addition of a Director of Administrative Services position with a salary of $65,000.

To read Clark's full request and restructuring plan, click here.

The ordinance will go before the Fort Smith Board of Directors on May 16.