NEW POLICE CHIEF TRIES TO STABILIZE DEPARTMENT
By RICHARD DUKE
LOG CABIN STAFF WRITER
New Mayflower Police Chief Robert Satkowski couldn’t have been in a better place when an opening for the position in Mayflower became available. He and his wife live just a few minutes away from Mayflower, and his time spent in law enforcement was impressive.
Following the resignation of former chief Billy Baker, Satkowski was one of about 18 applicants for the job. He was retired, but he saw the opportunity to help the community that he had been a part of in one way or another for quite a while.
A graduate of Siena College in New York, Satkowski spent most of his time in law enforcement with the Federal Bureau of Investigations. He served in the department from 1971-1995 and spent time in Knoxville, Tenn., Richmond, Va. and Little Rock.
If that was not enough for the resume, Satkowski also served in the US Army for four and a half years, leaving as a Captain. He served in Vietnam as a Medi-Vac helicopter pilot commander from 1969-1970.
Following his time with the FBI, Satkowski became the Associate Director of the Criminal Justice Institute in Little Rock from 1995-2000. He then moved to the Arkansas Law Enforcement Standards and Training Department, serving as its Deputy Director from 2000-2007 before ultimately retiring. That department was the one this past year that investigated allegations that Baker tampered with a public record following a radar certification class that Baker allegedly falsified. He is charged with a Class D felony that is punishable by up to six years in prison.
Satkowski said he knows the department has been through some tough times, and he is very excited to be able to try to stabilize the position.
Log Cabin Democrat: How did this all come about, you making your way to the Mayflower Police Department?
Robert Satkowski: It was pretty simple. I had been retired, and my wife and I lived close by (in Quail Valley since 1993.) I just applied for the job, along with about 18 or so others.
LCD: What is your sense of the community of which you now serve?
RS: I’ve seen this community develop over these many years. Before we moved here, I had always known about it from visiting all the way back in the 1970s. It’s a perfect bedroom community for people who work in Conway or in Little Rock. It’s a nice little spot right between the two cities. There are many wonderful aspects of this place as well.
LCD: Given the recent problems within the department, what do you hope to bring that will help the community and the department together?
RS: I hope my experience will be to (the police officers’) benefit. I certainly see some dedicated officers here, and that’s good.
LCD: How long have you been on the job?
RS: One week. One week ago today.
LCD: Do you have any goals for the department? Short term and long term?
RS: First of all, we need some stabilization. I know that everyone has been through some turbulence, and we need to get everyone back to doing the right job. We need to get more training, and we have just been approved for some narcotics training, which is great. What I would really like to see over the long term is to find someone who wants to learn what it takes to be police chief and work toward taking that over. It would be nice to find that within this department.