New Pine Bluff police chief says changes are coming to the department

Kelvin Sergeant, the new chief of police in Pine Bluff, tells Channel 7 changes are coming to the department. (Photo: KATV)

He's spent less than two weeks as the police chief in Pine Bluff, but Chief Kelvin Sergeant already has changes in mind for the department.

"Sometimes when you have problems rooted in, they don't let go easily," said Sergeant.

With 135 employees, Sergeant says internally he wants to make changes.

Those changes include policy revisions, moving supervisors to areas that better fit their skill set, and changing the culture of the department.

"I want people to want to be here,” said Sergeant.

When it comes to violent crimes, Sergeant says the city is seeing a downward trend.

In 2017, there were 28 homicides.

"There were some different individuals that came up on the radar that had not been there in years past, and that may be one of the reasons you had that increase," said Sergeant.

So far in 2018, PBPD has only investigated one homicide.

Sergeant thinks his main priority will help sustain that downward trend. He wants to create Project Safe Neighborhoods, which enlists the help of the federal government to get guns and criminals who commit crimes with them off the street.

"These individuals can get more time based on their criminal histories and the crimes that they've committed,” said Sergeant. “They can get more time in the federal system."

Last year, Sergeant said from May to December, they were able to confiscate 125 guns. This year, they've been able to get 30.

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