FORT SMITH – The Fort Smith Police Department welcomes Aric Mitchell as the new Public Information Officer. Mitchell is the first civilian to fill the role in the department’s history.
He will be taking over for Cpl. Anthony Rice with the focus of continuing the FSPD’s strong community, citizen, and media partnerships; managing the department’s social media presence; and fulfilling official information requests in compliance with Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) laws.
The new hire enables the department to re-focus two sworn officers – Cpl. Rice and Sgt. Wendall Sampson – who have been handling PIO duties in addition to their regular duties for several months.
Mitchell started on Oct. 1. He is a 2000 graduate of Arkansas Tech University with credentials that include the Russellville Courier, Wolters Kluwer Law & Business (formerly Loislaw), and, for the last nine years, Talk Business & Politics.
“It’s a great honor to serve the department and my community in this role,” Mitchell said. “From day one, everyone here – Chief (Nathaniel) Clark, Cpl. Rice, Sgt. Sampson, and all the amazing men and women wearing the Shield and civilian badges, have treated me like family. Also, the support this community has for the department is tremendous. I’m proud to serve both.”
Cpl. Rice had the following to say, “It has been an honor to represent the dedicated men and women of the Fort Smith Police Department over the last year. I look forward to working with Aric during this transition, and we are excited to have him as an added member of our team.”