Ex-Little Rock assistant chief enters race for sheriff

Former Little Rock Assistant Chief of Police Eric Higgins announced his candidacy for Pulaski County sheriff on Thursday.

Higgins is the second Democrat to announce plans to enter the race for the county's top law enforcement spot, after Maj. Carl Minden of the sheriff's office announced his bid in March. The official filing period for county elections begins in March 2018.

Higgins held his first fundraising reception Thursday.

The 2018 race will decide the successor to Sheriff Doc Holladay, who has held the office since 2007. Holladay announced last year that he would not seek re-election after his term ends in 2018.

Higgins is a 30-year veteran of the Little Rock Police Department who retired in 2015. He became one of the department's more visible officers through his participation in several crime-prevention programs and as a former liaison to the state Legislature.

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He was twice among the city's final candidates for Little Rock police chief, losing to current chief Kenton Buckner in 2014 and former chief Stuart Thomas in 2005.

"We must be community-driven," Higgins said in a statement Thursday. "Empowering our communities will build them up and aid in addressing safety concerns in the area. We must be safety-driven -- not arrest-driven. Our end-goal is lack of crime; it is not a high prison count. And lastly, everything we do must be done with integrity. No exceptions."

Minden has served with the Pulaski County sheriff's office for 18 years and was the agency's communications director from 2004 to 2016. He was promoted to the rank of major in December.

Metro on 05/19/2017

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