Brenda Davis-Jones, who earns an annual base salary of $80,286 in her full-time job as Pine Bluff’s police chief, is apparently being granted free rent for working as “courtesy officer” at the apartment complex in which she resides.
Mayor Carl A. Redus Jr. said Wednesday night that he’s aware of and sees nothing unlawful or improper with the arrangement.
Davis-Jones did not return a reporter’s call. A city council member who didn’t want to be named until learning more about the situation said if the chief is working part time, the council should have been advised of the situation and the mayor’s approval before she assumed the role.
The Commercial has secured a copy of an Aug. 9 letter apparently signed by Benita Clinard of Fountain Square Apartments at 3201 South Beech Street. Attached to the letter, which is addressed to “all residents” of the complex, is a likeness of Davis-Jones’ police department business card, which includes her office telephone number. Written across the card is another number, which is the number of Davis-Jones’ city-issued cell phone.
“I don’t know if that’s her cell phone number or not,” another alderman, Bill Brumett said. “She’s never given me her number. I don’t know enough about this to make a comment beyond that I plan to look into it on Thursday and I’m surprised she would allow her name and title to be used for this purpose. I have no idea what’s happening, but her city-issued phone ought to be used for city business only.”
“There’s no monetary exchange involved,” Redus said. “She’s just providing some security for her rent. There’s nothing in the city policy that would disallow this. I don’t see a policy violation, so I don’t see any need for dialogue with the council.”
Redus said Davis-Jones has previously been acting in her “courtesy” capacity.
“She was unofficially providing security before,” Redus said. “As a tenant there herself, other tenants had a tendency to call on her for assistance, and management recognized this and worked out an agreement with her.”
The mayor offered no comment about the chief’s business card and telephone numbers being attached to the letter.
The letter states that a $20 fee will be assessed to any residents who require Davis-Jones’ assistance entering their apartments “after hours.” The letter further advises, “Do not go to her (Davis-Jones’) door or call her without having the money first.”
According to the letter, Davis-Jones “will handle day-to-day problems that arise” at the site. The chief is to lock the laundry room there at 10 p.m. each day, but may also lock it without announcement “at any time she deems necessary.”
“She is here for you,” the letter concludes. “She will be working very closely with management to address any and all problems that arise on the property.”