Helena-West Helena police chief fired, replaced with MPD veteran

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HELENA-WEST HELENA -- The Helena-West Helena police chief has been fired.

Chief Virgil Green said he learned he was out of a job today.

James Patrick Smith has been named the new chief.

Smith is a 20-year veteran of the Memphis Police Department and grew up in Helena-West Helena.

It may not have been a big surprise after Green recently tried to get a new job in Oklahoma, where his wife and two children live.

Green ran for and lost the job of sheriff in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma.

In March he told WREG he moved to Arkansas from Oklahoma City in 2015, but his wife and two children stayed behind. Since then, he's been commuting about seven hours to Oklahoma every other weekend.

In February his department arrested two council members and charged them with abuse of power. “It's no secret even with some of the elected officials here, it would be probably better for them if I wasn’t here,” he said.

Mayor Jay Hollowell previously said he had hoped to see a bigger drop in crime stats under Green.

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