Changes Approved in Jonesboro Police and Fire Departments

FEBRUARY 2, 2004 -- Posted at: 11:30pm

JONESBORO, AR - City council members have unanimously given the go-ahead for Mayor Hubert Brodell to make changes in Jonesboro City management, eliminating Floyd Johnson's current position.

"I don't have any problems with it what so ever," said Johnson, Director of Public Safety. "I'm just tickled to death to have a job."

The office of Fire Chief was eliminated in 1998. That's when the Police Chief at the time, Floyd Johnson, took over both positions and was given the new title of Director of Public Safety. New ordinances will separate the titles once again.

Johnson added, "I didn't ask for this change in the beginning, and I'm right back where I started."

Floyd Johnson will likely become Police Chief. A position he took in 1993 after serving as Craighead County Sheriff for 22 years. Current Assistant Chief Rusty Grigsby isn't sure if he'll keep his position.

"Now I'll have to sit down and talk with him; see how the responsibilities are going to change if any and go from there," said Grigsby.

Assistant Fire Chief Butch Herring doesn't know about his position either. He thought the old system did work.

Herring explained, "However, after the actions of the council tonight, I feel like that may allow our department to go forward with some strategic planning that may have fallen through the cracks the last couple of years."

Herring said as far as he knows, no decision has been made as to who will become Fire Chief. Floyd Johnson added that Mayor Brodell has told him he wants Johnson to become Police Chief. Johnson said he'll take the new title if that's what the mayor wants.

"Otherwise I'd be happy to leave tomorrow," admitted Johnson. "I don't have any animosity or hard feelings towards anybody."

The Mayor has been out of town, so he wasn't at Monday night's city council meeting. The three police and fire leaders said they aren't sure when he might make a final decision on those changes.