Mayor demotes police chief for disrespectfulness

HARRISBURG, AR (KAIT) - Harrisburg Mayor Randy Mills has demoted longtime police chief Gary Hefner for "disrespectfulness."

Mills told Region 8 News that he demoted Chief Hefner because of insubordination.

Mills said that Hefner would be in open meetings, and would be very disrespectful. "His demotion was because of that," Mills said.

Mills said he had talked with Hefner about his behavior in the past, but in a police committee meeting on May 22, Mills said it happened again and that it was the last straw.

Mills said it got to the point where day to day operations were being hindered.

"I think everyone in this city needs to work together, our police need to work with the county policemen but we all have to work together," Mills said. "If there's a problem, sit down and let's talk it out and let's move on."

Hefner has been the police chief for a little over 7 years.

Mayor Mills says despite the change, the people of his town don't need to worry about police protection or coverage.

Justin Kimball has been named interim chief.

Kimball has been with the Harrisburg Police Department for about 7 years.

Hefner is now labeled as a 'patrolman' with the police force.

Mills said the search now begins for a new police chief.

He said they will be holding a police committee meeting soon to discuss what kind of candidate they are looking for and how to go about finding that person.

When asked if Mayor Mills believed Hefner would remain a patrolman, Mills said he had no reason to believe otherwise.

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