Former Fort Smith Officer Announces Candidacy For At-Large City Director

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- A former Fort Smith police officer announced his candidacy Tuesday (Dec. 12) for position 7 at-large city director of Fort Smith.

Jarrard Copeland will run for the position currently held by Don Hutchings, who recently announced that he will run for mayor.

Copeland retired from the Fort Smith Police Department in May 2017 after serving 25 years as an officer.

Copeland said he hopes to use his background in law enforcement and his knowledge of the city to make Fort Smith an even better place to live.

"I'm retired, I love being home with my family and doing things that I wanted to do for a long time, but I also love serving the people and I have a genuine concern for the well-being of my friends and family," Copeland said.

Those friends are the people of Fort Smith, which he said deserve much more than what's being offered.

"I am a former police officer, but I am running for a position that represents all the citizens of Fort Smith," Copeland said. "I've made it clear with the president of the Fraternal Order of Police and he understand that I'm not there to run the police department, I'm there to represent all of the citizens of Fort Smith."

Copeland said he wants to bring a common-sense approach to the table.

"What I want to try to do as city director is try to let people do their jobs that they were hired to do and then hold them accountable for doing it," Copeland said.

Now the former officer is looking forward to November.

"I'm anxious," Copeland said. "I wish it was tomorrow. I wish the election was tomorrow, because I'm ready to get started."

As of right now, Copeland is running unopposed.

To read Copeland's full announcement for candidacy, click here.