Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner is in Charleston, S.C., this week for interviews as one of five finalists for that city’s vacant chief’s job.

Blogger Russ Racop, a Buckner critic and City Board candidate, put together the YouTube clip of Buckner taking questions from media after a closed-door session with City Council members.

Buckner said complaints from the Little Rock Black Police Officers Association about his leadership were just a continuation of complaints the group had made against previous chiefs dating back decades. He also cited gains in hiring and promotion of black and Latino officer during his four years as chief and closed his presentation reading from a message in Spanish.

Buckner acknowledged loss of a service weapon. It occurred during a move from an apartment to a house, he said, and he said he’d taken steps to ensure the incident, including a reprimand, would be public so that he would be accountable.

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Buckner said he had good relations with media and had an annual lunch (he pays, he said) to discuss media concerns.

He said he was “battle tested” and cited police response to the downtown club shooting last year. He said  no lives were lost though 25 were hit by gunfire at Power Ultra Lounge during a rap show  “because of our response to that and other community stakeholders….” The fact that no one died, he said, “says we do business the right way.”

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TV coverage of the Charleston candidates.

The Charleston newspaper reported more in-depth, mentioning his relationship with black officers and the lost gun.


If he’s hired for the job in Charleston, Buckner said he would build on the strides made by the Illumination Project, a program introduced by former Police Chief Greg Mullen to improve the relationship between officers and minorities.

“I believe my experience dealing with those issues would serve me well going forward in this city,” he said.

Candidates meet today with other city officials and residents.