January 9, 2008 Edition

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Gates named WRPD chief

Mayor Michelle Rogers announced Tuesday that Sgt. Leslie Gates has been promoted to the role of chief of police at the Walnut Ridge department.

Gates fills the position left vacant when the former chief, John Lamb, resigned to take a position with the Highway Police. According to Rogers, Lamb and his family have moved to Marion, and he is working out of West Memphis.

"I wish him the best and hope everything works out for him," Rogers said.

Rogers said Gates was second in command under Lamb.

"I think he is well qualified and I feel he will do a really good job," she said.

Gates has been with the WRPD for a year, starting as patrolman and advancing through the ranks to corporal and then sergeant. He also previously worked for the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department, serving as a patrolman for two and a half years and as chief deputy for one and a half years.

A lifelong resident of Lawrence County, he attended Hoxie School and is a graduate of the Black River Technical College Law Enforcement Academy.

He is married to Tammy Gates and has a son, Carson Gates, and two stepchildren, Derrick Simms and Randi Simms.

"I'm looking forward to working with the citizens of Walnut Ridge as their chief of police and will assist in any way needed," Gates said.

Rogers said Jeff Franks has also been promoted to corporal, and the WRPD has added Blake Liscomb as a patrolman.

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