TEXARKANA, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – Texarkana, Arkansas Police Chief Kristi Bennet has resigned to take another job at another police department in Arkansas.

According to a statement released by TAPD Thursday morning, Bennet submitted her formal resignation from the police department, effective July 6.

Bennett says she accepted the position as Police Chief in Hot Springs Village, which is her hometown.

“It is with great sadness that we accept this resignation from Chief Bennett, but we are grateful for her years of service to our community. Her commitment to well-trained officers and staff coupled with her exceptional love for our city have made her an excellent chief. We will miss her in our organization, but we wish her the best as she continues her career,” City Manager Jay Ellington said in the statement.

Bennett’s tenure with TAPD started in 2005 as a patrol officer. She was later promoted to the department’s Public Information Officer, where she spearheaded the community’s youth outreach PRIDE academy program. Bennett was recognized for accomplishments made at all levels including the Top Cop Award from the National Association of Police Organizations.

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In September 2020, Bennett was appointed as Interim Police Chief until March 2021, when she was named police chief at TAPD.

“It has truly been a great honor and privilege to serve the citizens of Texarkana, Arkansas for the last 19 years. I will forever be grateful for the support of my agency, my city, and the citizens of Texarkana, Arkansas,” Chief Bennett said in her resignation letter.

City Manager Jay Ellington says the city will conduct a nationwide search for a new police chief and plan to have an interim chief named before Bennett leaves the department.