Chief Robb Leading with Transparency and Integrity

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E.W. Robb, Mansfield’s new Chief of Police, has a clear vision and goal for the department. Part of that plan is to lead with integrity and conduct that is above reproach.

Robb, a law enforcement veteran with 30 years of experience, began his career in his hometown of Marianna as a radio dispatcher and jailer at the age of 18. After turning 21, he was hired on as a certified police officer at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. He remained there for six years, then left to work as a deputy for the White County Sheriff’s office.

He admits he began to feel “burned out.” Robb took a break and began driving trucks. His company took him from Little Rock to Memphis and Fort Smith. That’s how he ended up in, as he calls it, “God’s country.”

Robb got hired on with Sebastian County, and worked reserve for Scott County Sheriff Cody Carpenter. In 2011, he began working full time for the late sheriff. “I made a promise to Cody that I would stay with him. It was just a few months later that he was killed, and I kept that promise until 2019.”

It was not a decision he took lightly. At first, Robb did not intend to apply for the position of Mansfield Police Chief. “My wife doesn’t like change and she initially said no. So, I told the mayor I wasn’t interested.” But something changed. Both Robb and his wife, Stephanie, began praying about it. “The wife and I prayed about it and felt it would be a great opportunity.”

He recognized that “still small voice” leading both him and his wife on the decision. He felt strongly enough about it that he approached Mayor Buddy Black and said “I will be your next chief.”

Robb admits it was difficult to say goodbye to the students and residents he had connected with during his time as a Scott County Deputy. “The people of Waldron have embraced me but I think the people of Mansfield will too. It was humbling for the people to clap at the city council meeting on Thursday night.”

One of the things important to Robb is his connection with both the school and the community. For the past four years he has been greeting students at Waldron Elementary with a fist bump. Robb noted that it was the best part of his day. That is something he has brought with him to Mansfield. And, people have noticed! After the first morning on the job, social media lit up with comments on the interaction with the new chief and students at the school. Robb said his goal is to “change a generation’s mindset of how they view law enforcement. If I can achieve that I have reached my goal,” he added.

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Furthermore, Robb plans to implement positive changes to the department itself. “I want to get the integrity and honesty back and to be upfront with the mayor and the public.” Robb has come on board delivering daily briefs to both the mayor and every officer coming on duty. That commitment comes with long hours, 6 a.m.-4 p.m.

The officers have been very receptive of their newly appointed leader. “I came in and asked them what needed to be changed and opened the door for suggestions. In return, I expect them to present themselves the way I present myself to the public. Shiny boots, hair, and clean cut appearance.” He went on to add that the way the officer presents himself/herself to the public is important as well. “The tongue will get you in trouble. How you talk to citizens reflects not only on you (the officer), but this department.”

He further outlined his expectations by stating that if an officer is at the station, the doors will be unlocked and phones will be manned. Chief Robb is working to set up a forwarding system with the phone lines for Sebastian County to receive calls if officers are away from the station.

Robb’s motto is that if you fix the broken window the decline won’t escalate. That broken window, according to Robb, is the condition of the vehicles and the need to bring the department into the 21st century with technology.

Robb concluded by saying the department’s actions reflect on the mayor. He pointed to Black and stated, “I work for this man.” Black responded, “and I work for the people.” Adding, “this is a positive change and people are seeking consistency.”

The hands-on, working chief plans to continue visiting and getting to know the residents, parents and students. He welcomes anyone with problems or questions to come to the police station to visit. Additionally, he welcomes anyone to come approach him while he is out in public. “Even if you call and get dispatch, let them know you need to see me and I will come to your house.”

With Robb’s vision, leadership and experience the citizens of Mansfield can be assured of the department’s commitment to protect and serve.

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Chief Robb’s certificates hang in his office. The ones he’s most proud of include the law enforcement code of ethics and his safety dedication award from Waldron Elementary.

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Tammy Teague

Tammy Teague

Mansfield native, with roots in Scott County. Daughter, sister, wife and Christian. Education: 1995 MHS graduate; 1999 Arkansas Tech University Graduate - BA in Journalism. Career: Managing Editor - The Citizen; Copy Writer - Southwest Times Record; 20+ years experience in the news.

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