FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- On Monday (May 22), Fort Smith Police Chief Nathaniel Clark asked the Civil Service Commission to allow him to hire Sergeant ranking officers and those ranking above from outside of the department if necessary.
Currently, the rank of Sergeant and above has to be filled from within house.
The Civil Service Commission turned down the request to hire from outside of the department.
"By all means I support my staff, but at the end of the day it's about what's best for this community and I feel strongly that this plan of action would have been best for the community," Clark said.
Fort Smith police officers were in attendance with the support of the F.O.P and their attorney Candice Settle.
According to the Fort Smith Police Department, 143 sworn officers are currently employed at the department. Forty-nine of those are not sworn officers.
Since January 2017, 17 employees have left the department in different capacities. According to records of those 17, their rank is as follows; two patrol officers, four corporals, one maintenance person, two senior clerks, one meter enforcement, one customer service assistant and one crime intelligence analyst.