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New Texarkana police chief awarded badge in ceremony

by LORI DUNN TEXARKANA GAZETTE | April 12, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.

TEXARKANA — Texarkana Police Chief Kristi Bennett officially received her chief of police badge in a ceremony Wednesday.

Bennett was appointed police chief in late March. She is the first female police chief in Texarkana and the first new police chief in 31 years.

“I’ve been overwhelmed with support and love during this transition,” Bennett said during the ceremony at Crossties, a venue on Broad Street. “TAPD is going to do amazing things, and I’m honored to be a part of this city.” Bennett’s husband, Joe Bennett, pinned the badge on his wife.

“I am so proud of you,” he said. “You are an inspiration to me and to all of the officers. Stay the course.” A number of local law enforcement officers and city officials attended the ceremony.

Kristi Bennett holds a master’s degree from Southern Arkansas University and has served as interim chief since Sept. 1.

Bennett joined the department in 2005 and became its public information officer in 2008.

She also started the Personal Responsibility in Daily Effort program for at-risk students in Texarkana Arkansas.

In 2016, she was honored for her efforts by the National Association of Police Organizations in Washington, D.C.

Texarkana Mayor Allen Brown spoke about his positive working relationship with Bennett.

“I met her, and she was a sweet person. But I learned she was tough and could trash talk,” Brown said with a laugh. “Our Police Department is in good hands. I’ve enjoyed working with her and could not be more proud of her.”

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