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Top candidate for police chief to visit

by I.C. Murrell | June 12, 2021 at 2:47 a.m.

Kingsland, Ga., Police Chief Robert Jones will go through a few more rounds of interviews in hopes of being offered the same position in Pine Bluff during his upcoming visit.

Mayor Shirley Washington announced a forum in which the public is invited to meet Jones and submit questions is set for 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.

The forum highlights a three-day visit for Jones, who will arrive in Pine Bluff on Sunday and take a tour of the city via trolley with Washington and other city leaders. Jones and his family will then be treated to dinner at a local restaurant.

Jones will meet face-to-face with committee members at 10 a.m. Monday at Jefferson Regional Medical Center's Merritt Chapel, with city council members to join Jones at 11:15 a.m. at the hospital.

"During his three-day trip, the chief will also tour the community, meet with elected officials and key community partners, undergo a final interview with the selection committee, and visit multiple city departments," according to a news release.

A selection committee consisting of civic leaders identified Jones as the top candidate out of 30-plus applicants last week. Jones and eight leading candidates interviewed with the committee via Zoom last month.

Jones is bidding to replace Kelvin Sergeant, a 26-year member of the Pine Bluff Police Department who's served as chief the past three years. Sergeant, 49, will retire July 1.

A 22-year veteran of law enforcement, Jones has served for almost two years as police chief in Kingsland, a suburb of Jacksonville, Fla. He previously served as a warden in the Carroll County Correctional Institution in Georgia.

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