LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A second high-ranking member in the capital city’s police force has announced plans to depart.
Little Rock Police Interim Chief Crystal Young-Haskins made the announcement during a command staff Monday morning sending shockwaves through the department and to city hall, sources said.
Young-Haskins, currently an assistant chief, has served as the department’s interim top cop since mid-May.
Her last day is Friday and is taking a job out of state.
This is the second command staff level departure in less than a month and at least the sixth in the last year or so.
Young-Haskins was appointed interim chief by Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. following former chief Keith Humphrey’s retirement last month.
She has been with the LRPD for 16 years, starting as an officer and likely the only member of the department to have ever grown through the rank-and-file so fast.
The Arkansas native is the first African American woman to serve as an assistant chief with LRPD and is the recipient of the 2020 International Association of Chief of Police 40 under 40 Award.
Mayor Scott has named Assistant Chief Wayne Bewley to serve as the next interim chief as pressure mounts by some city directors for the department to be more transparent.
Last week, before Bewley’s appointment, he said the top brass agreed how information is delivered to not only the media but the public, must and will be changed.
“We need to do a better job and we can do a better job. The Little Rock Police Department in the past has done a better job,” Bewley said. “I can remember back to times when the relationship between the department and the media, the department and the public was in a better position.”
In years past, LRPD would provide updates on homicides and shootings at scenes but that has not happened in a while, until last week, when LRPD held a briefing at police headquarters after a school bus was hit by gunfire.
Bewley told reporters that protocols are being put in place to ensure the public and media are briefed at scenes that garner the public’s attention. Bewley said briefings will be conducted by members of the command staff or the uniformed public information office.
The assistant chief said after the public and media are briefed after a homicide or shooting, the department will release follow-up details within three to five hours.
“We hear you, we know we can do better,” Bewley said.
Email records reveal former Chief Keith Humphrey issued an order back in 2020 limiting who can release information to the media which took that power away from officers who had been in those positions.
It’s too soon to know if Bewley will rescind the order.