Chief of Police ~ Jamie Hammond


Chief Jamie Hammond began his career at the Van Buren Police Department in June, 2017.  A second-generation police officer, Chief Hammond retired from the Fort Smith Police Department after twenty-six years of faithful service to the citizens of Fort Smith.


A longtime resident of Van Buren, Chief Hammond understands the importance of being involved in the community.  He has served on numerous boards in our city and also regularly volunteers his time at various civic events. 


He values the trust that our citizens place in their police department and will always strive to foster that trust.  


Chief Hammond is married to the former Paige Mitchell of Van Buren and they have two sons; Mitchell and Andrew who both attend Van Buren Public Schools.

Administrative Assistant ~ Melissa Wright

Melissa Wright has been with the Van Buren Police Department since 1999.  She was first employed as the Records/Fines Clerk.  She has served as the Administrative Assistant for the Van Buren Police Department since 2005.  She is responsible for providing administrative support to the Chief of Police and his staff. 

Deputy Chief ~ Lawrence "Larry" Brown

Deputy Chief Lawrence R. “Larry” Brown was born in Tacoma, Washington but raised in Fort Smith, graduated from Northside High School in 1985, and immediately entered the U.S. Army and is a veteran of Desert Shield/Desert Storm.  After serving eight years as a Cavalry Scout and achieving the rank of Sergeant in the U.S. Army, he was hired September 16, 1993, by the Van Buren Police Department, as the first officer hired under the new Civil Service Regulations.  

      Deputy Chief Brown has served in the Patrol Division, School Resource Officer Division, Criminal Investigations Division, been a K9 Officer, and a former SWAT Team Leader and served as Courthouse Security for the Van Buren Municipal Complex. He is also a Senior Certified Law Enforcement Officer, Certified Law Enforcement Instructor, Certified Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor, SRO National Practitioner, Certified Canine Handler, Certified NYPUM Instructor, and has received over 1000 hours of training in SWAT, Drug Interdiction, Criminal Investigations, and other Law Enforcement related fields. He is also a certified Accident Reconstructionist.  He is a former president and chaplain of the Van Buren Police Officers Association, former member of the VBBGC Board of Directors, and former music minister of Lee Creek Baptist Church.   He is a 2009 Graduate of Leadership Crawford County. He currently serves as the department Deputy Chief.

      Selected as the 2001 Officer of the Year, Deputy Chief Brown has also been commended by the department for “Seizing 400 lbs of Marijuana” (1998), “Assisting other Agencies with Seizure of 626 lbs of Marijuana & 8.75 lbs of Meth” (2001), and “Instructing the 1st Citizens Police Academy” (2004).


 Criminal Investigations Captain ~ Stephen Staggs

Captain Staggs began working for the Van Buren Police Department in 1986 as a part time dispatcher and Animal Control Officer.  He was hired as a Patrol Officer the following year and was promoted through the ranks until he was appointed Lieutenant in 2001 and promoted to Captain in 2022.  Captain Staggs served as the service lieutenant until August 2019 at which time he was reassigned as the CID Lieutenant.  Captain Staggs was awarded Officer of the Year in 1990 and holds an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Arkansas.

  Service Captain ~ Jonathan Wear

Captain Wear began working for the Van Buren Police Department in 2007.  He was transferred to the Criminal Investigations Division In 2009. While working as a detective he served on the Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce, Child Abduction Response Team, was a Drug Recognition Expert and a certified Crime Scene Technician.  Much of his time as a detective in the Criminal Investigations Division was spent managing the Sex Offender Registry and investigating sexual crimes against children.  Captain Wear was recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2016 for outstanding assistance to the United States Attorney’s Office in the prosecution of U.S. v. Clarence Garretson. He was also awarded with Officer of the Year in both 2012 and 2017.  Captain Wear was promoted to Sergeant in 2018 where he was responsible for Public Relations, Training, and then the School Resource Division where he was later promoted to Lieutenant.  Captain Wear was the supervisor for the School Resource Division for three years, before being promoted to Captain.  During his years with the Van Buren Police Department he has also served as the Public Information Officer and has been the coordinator for the Citizen’s Police Academy for many years.

Captain Wear attended Fort Smith Christian School, University of Arkansas Fort Smith, Ashworth College, Southern Arkansas University Tech, and the University of Arkansas Criminal Justice Institute.  He has received a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, a technical certificate in Law Enforcement, and a Crime Scene Technician Certificate.  Wear also graduated in 2019, from the University of Arkansas Criminal Justice Institute’s School of Law Enforcement Supervision, which is a Leadership course for Law Enforcement supervisors.  

Captain Wear and his wife Shawnda have two children Grant and Emilee. He is very active in community affairs by serving on the Board of Directors for Western Arkansas Counseling and Guidance Center and serves as an Elder at Central Christian Church in Fort Smith.  He has also served as an advisory member of the River Valley Crime Stoppers Board.  He is the former president of the Van Buren Fraternal Order of Police Lodge and is currently serving as their secretary.


  Patrol Captain ~ Adam Hicks

Captain Adam Hicks began his law enforcement career with the Van Buren Police Department in August of 2003 at the age of 39.  Captain Hicks is a certified Police Instructor and Firearms Instructor. He is currently serving as Patrol Captain for the Van Buren Police Department overseeing 28 patrol officers, the Motorcycle Unit division and the K-9 division. He also formerly served as the Crawford County District Court bailiff and served two and a half years as the Fleet Maintenance Sergeant and as the Training Sergeant.

During his years of service Captain Hicks has received multiple commendations for providing valuable police service to his community and perseverance to solve crimes and make important arrests. His devotion to the field of law enforcement also led to receiving the Purple Heart award and the Medal of Valor after being shot during disturbance call in 2018 and he is now a member of the IACP Kevlar Survivors Club and the Safariland Saves Club.

Captain Hicks and his wife Julie were married in 1985. They have three daughters, Marissa, Holly, and Caitlin.