Former police officers seeking jobs back

Several former Pine Bluff police officers who left the department want their jobs back, according to Lt. JoAnn Bates.

Bates, the Pine Bluff Police Department’s public information officer, also directs the department’s Office of Professional Standards, which handles testing, background investigations and other functions for people seeking employment.

Last week, Mayor Debe Hollingsworth said officers who had left the department during the time former Chief Brenda Davis-Jones was in charge had applied for jobs since Davis-Jones was fired by Hollingsworth on Jan. 1.

Bates declined to say how many former officers had applied, or who they were, but said they would have to follow the same hiring procedures required of people with no experience.

Interim Police Chief Jeff Hubanks said he has received phone calls from several former officers who indicated they would like to return to work.

“I told them I don’t know what the future holds,” Hubanks said. “I’m here one day at a time, more or less. So I’m telling them don’t come back for me because I don’t know if I will be here but for the sake of the Pine Bluff PD.”

Currently, the department is authorized for 155 officers, with four of those being military veterans whose salaries are paid by a federal grant, and there are three vacancies.

Bates said six people were scheduled to be interviewed Wednesday afternoon by a review board in an attempt to fill those three vacancies.

The six had already completed written testing, a background investigation that included fingerprint checks with the FBI and agility testing required by the department.

Those passing the interviews will be sent for psychological and medical testing, the final phase before the names of those who successfully pass the tests are referred to the interim chief for possible hiring.

Those not selected can be placed on an eligibility list that will be good for one year, Bates said.

Newly hired officers with no prior experience would be sent to the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy at East Camden for the next Basic Police Training Class.