After one year of service in the Pine Bluff Police Department (PBPD), Chief Lloyd Franklin will be departing the PBPD on July 20. After extensive reflection and further review of state standards required to serve as permanent chief, he has decided to decline the certification process and return to retirement.

“To put it simply,” said Mayor Shirley M. Washington, “Chief Franklin has made the PBPD a stronger unit that has become more accountable in the delivery of public safety services. This is evidenced in part by the improved solvability rate for multiple categories of crime under his leadership. On behalf of all residents, I thank him for his willingness to serve and for safekeeping of the residents of Pine Bluff.”

Under Chief Franklin’s leadership, PBPD has overseen significant achievements, including:
Securing funding for overtime to implement the “Blue Rain” initiative to address violent crimes through special operations, targeted patrols, data driven resource placement and deterrence measures.

Launch of PBPD’s Violent Crime Apprehension Team (VCAT) with a focus on the interruption of the movements and actions of violent offenders.
Increased training efforts by over 25% for officers.
Investigative technological investments for crime solving and equipment upgrades. Improved accountability and enhancement of fleet management. Enhanced implementation of FLOCK Safety, a camera surveillance system, to capture objective evidence in order to help deter crime.
Launch of “Cold-Case Unit” with a driven focus on the review and successful closure of cold cases.

“I love this city, and I have loved this job,” said Chief Franklin. “This city gave me an opportunity. It has been my goal every single day to pay back that debt of gratitude by keeping the streets safe. I’m proud of what we have been able to accomplish since my appointment as chief.”

Effective July 20, Deputy Chief Denise Richardson will be appointed to the position of permanent chief. Deputy Chief Richardson is a distinguished officer with 28 years of experience in law enforcement, which she has served in the PBPD. Her former ranks include the positions of sergeant, lieutenant, and captain. She has led multiple police divisions, worked as a detective, and acted as a liaison to other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies during her distinguished tenure.

Deputy Chief Richardson plans to implement a 90 day plan during the first months of her tenure. Under this plan, the department will work to achieve the following:

Assess internal operations to identify areas in need of improvement.

Adopt and enact standards by the Arkansas Chiefs of Police Association to achieve the Tier II (ALEAP) Arkansas Law Enforcement Accreditation Program certification, enabling the department to earn its accreditation for the first time in its history, which will improve operational performance.

Restructure patrols to increase the presence of officers in the community.

Remodel social media outreach to increase transparency and public engagement.

Re-implement the “Text-a-Tip Program” to provide more open lines of communications with law enforcement and the general public.

Form a Dignitary/Ambassador team to develop and maintain relationships with stakeholders and local businesses that will support public safety.

Develop a Peer Support program to enhance officer wellness.

Deputy Chief Richardson is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff with a degree in Criminal Justice, and in August she will become a graduate of the FBI LEEDA Trilogy Executive Leadership Institute. She is also a graduate of Session XXIII of the CJI School of Law Enforcement Supervision, a Dean’s Scholar Graduate of the University of Louisville in Kentucky’s Southern Police Institute Administrative Officers Course, and a 2019 graduate of CJI’s Arkansas Leader Session XXVIII.

Richardson has received numerous commendations and awards during her career, which include the 2020 Supervisor of the Year Award for the PBPD and the Above and Beyond Detective Kevin Collins Award, of which she is the first ever recipient.

Deputy Chief Richardson looks forward to working with fellow officers, the Mayor, City Council, community, and dedicated partners in enhancing the safety of Pine Bluff.

The official swearing in ceremony will be Wednesday July 20th, 2022 at 12:15 p.m. at the Sixth Division Court Room located at 301 East Second Ave. It will be officiated by the Honorable Sixth Division Circuit Court Judge Earnest Brown Jr..