Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner announced today that he’d withdrawn from the competition to choose a new police chief for Charleston, S.C.
Buckner was interviewed earlier in February as a finalist, but no news about that process has been forthcoming since.
In a release today — about which a spokesman said the chief would have no further comment — Buckner said he wanted to alleviate “ambiguity” about his future in Little Rock. He said the Charleston process had caused him to reflect on his time in Little Rock. He said there had been “many successes,” but he had other goals, including accreditation of the police training academy and stronger relations with both the police force and the community at large.
He said it was time to build on “positive momentum that the LRPD has achieved.” He cited reductions in property and violent crime, arrests of habitual funders and hiring that has put the force near full strength.
He said he looked forward to working with city leaders.
Leaders were caught by surprise by Buckner’s emergence as a Charleston candidate and City Manager Bruce Moore said he intended to talk to Buckner about it. Perhaps there’ll be time now.