Mayor fires police chief; remaining officers quit in Bearden


BEARDEN, Ark. – A south Arkansas town is left without a police department after the police chief was fired and other remaining officers resigned, according to the city’s mayor.

Bearden’s mayor, Ginger Bailey, confirmed she terminated Jared Brownlee on Tuesday for “insubordination,” and Bailey released a copy of the termination letter, which accuses Brownlee of walking out of a meeting with Bailey while discussing personnel issues.

On Tuesday night, as a show of support for Brownlee, the police department’s remaining officers turned in their badges following a contentious city council meeting.

Next to city hall on Wednesday, the police department door appeared shut and locked and a Bearden Police patrol car sat parked in an adjacent lot.

Mayor Bailey says the city is actively searching for a new police chief and that the new police chief will be required to live in the city of Bearden.

Both Mayor Bailey and former Chief Brownlee declined to speak about the firing on camera.

Mayor Bailey says the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office has committed to providing coverage for the city of Bearden while the city looks to re-staff its police department.

Bearden is a city with a population of about 1,000 people.

Mayor Bailey has been in office about a year and says Brownlee was hired as Chief of Police in March of 2018.

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