HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. — Helena-West Helena, Arkansas, Police Chief James Patrick Smith is retiring, effective next month.
The City of Helena-West Helena made the announcement Tuesday. Mayor Kevin Smith said Assistant Chief James Mayfield is being appointed the new interim Chief of Police.
In a news release, Mayor Smith said, “Chief Smith has been responsible for tremendous progress and advancement in our city regarding the modernization of our police department, and the constant and unrelenting fight to restore peace and public safety to our city.”
Chief Smith said in a release, “For the past twenty-five years, I have faced several challenging, yet terrific and rewarding career experiences in law enforcement. My purpose from God was to protect and serve His people and I hop and pray He says ‘job well done.’”
Chief Smith is a West Helena native. He was first appointed to the chief position in April 2017 after retiring following 20 years with the Memphis Police Department. He served four years with Helena West Helena, one of the longest tenures for that position in recent years.
The city said since 2019, Helena-West Helena has seen reductions in crime, including violent crime and property crime, and a dramatic reduction in homicides.
Chief Smith is said to be moving into the private sector doing security consulting.
The retirement is effective February 4, 2022.