New Police Chief Selected For Van Buren Police Department

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VAN BUREN (KFSM) - A new leader will be at the helm of the Van Buren Police Department this summer.

Fort Smith Police Captain Jamie Hammond is next in line to be chief at the Van Buren Police Department.

Hammond has served at the Fort Smith Police Department since 1991, when he started as a patrol officer. Over the years he worked his way up to captain. With all of his experience, he's seen a lot, learned leadership skills, and is a well-rounded police officer, which he said will carry over as soon as he becomes chief.

Hammond will be replacing the current police chief, Kenneth Bell, who will be retiring after 32 years of service. Bell has spent the last 16 serving as chief.

Hammond is from Van Buren and he said he is excited to be starting his new career and to be serving the citizens in his hometown.

"Van Buren has always prided itself with having a really good police department," said Capt. Jamie Hammond. "I hope the citizens will put their trust into me and the good things that I will do for the city."

Hammond said although he's an outsider coming in, it doesn't mean changes are on the way.

"As far as it goes to go in and start making changes because Van Buren does it differently than Fort Smith, I'm not going to do that," said Hammond. "If I make changes, it's for the better of the citizens."

Hammond is also a member of the city school board and is a volunteer firefighter for the Butterfield District 5 Fire Department, so this new job will keep him busy. Hammond will begin as chief on July 1.