About the Department
The Jonesboro Police Department is led by Chief Rick Elliott. The department serves a city of approximately sixty-seven thousand, plus many more school-year temporary residents who come to attend Arkansas State University, as well as many daily visitors who come to work or shop.
The Department has 163 sworn officer positions and 33 full and part time civilian support employees.
Although the town, and later the city, of Jonesboro has been served by a town marshal or some other law enforcement officer since the late 1800’s, the Jonesboro Police Department officially began serving the citizens of Jonesboro in 1905. To learn more about the history of the Jonesboro Police Department or to see archived photos, click here.
The Jonesboro Police Department is currently under the direction of a Chief of Police and Assistant Chief of Police and is divided into four main sections, each headed by a Captain. The divisions include: Administrative Services, Uniform Patrol, Criminal Investigations and Special Services. Click here to view the Organizational Chart of the JPD.
As members of the City of Jonesboro Police Department we strive to set a standard of excellence for others to follow. In keeping with this goal, we have developed a mission statement that reflects the fundamental principles of the organization and the cornerstone of our law enforcement philosophy:
“The City of Jonesboro Police Department shall strive to ensure that all of our citizens are served in a professional, ethical and equitable manner that respects individuals, protects our democratic ideals and system of government, pursues greater accountability of police, greater public share in decision making and greater concern for civil rights and liberties.”
It is the intent of this administration to provide every employee of the Jonesboro Police Department as much guidance and direction as possible in order to meet this standard of excellence.
Rick Elliott was named chief of the Jonesboro Police Department in September of 2014. A veteran of more than 35 years in law enforcement, he began his career as a reserve officer in Jonesboro in 1979 -1981.
Elliott worked for the Blytheville Police Department from 1981 through 1992, rising to the rank of lieutenant while serving in Patrol, Criminal Investigations, the Drug Task Force and as SWAT team commander.
Elliott has been with the Jonesboro Police Department since October 1992. He was among the first officers to respond to the Westside Middle School shootings in 1998. Because of his experience with that tragic event, Elliott has given presentations around the country at conferences and seminars on school violence and crisis preparation.
Before being tapped as the new chief of police, Elliott served in both the Patrol and Criminal Investigation Divisions. He has also overseen the department’s K-9 unit and served as commander of the Crisis Negotiation Team. He is a Certified Law Enforcement Instructor, a Certified Polygraph Examiner, a Certified Crime Scene Technician and is also certified in blood pattern analysis.
Outside of the Jonesboro Police Department, Elliott has served as president of the Fraternal Order of Police and chairman of the city’s Employee Representative Committee.
The son of a U.S. Navy sailor, Assistant Chief Tim Eads lived in Japan during his teens. Following his graduation from high school, Chief Eads served in the United States Air Force Security Police for four years, including a year in Keflavik, Iceland.
Chief Eads has been with the Jonesboro police Department since May of 1985. He progressed through the ranks of the police department and was promoted to his present rank of assistant chief of the department in 2005.
Approaching 30 years with the Jonesboro Police Department, Captain Scott Baxter is experienced in Patrol, CID, Evidence, Crime Scene Processing, Service Division, SWAT, & Honor Guard. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has achieved the Law Enforcement Senior Certificate with the Commission on Law Enforcement Standards & Training. He has served on the Criminal Justice Institute Advisory Board, the Commission of Law Enforcement Standards and Training, and is an active police Trustee on the AR LOPFI Retirement Board.
Captain Lynn Waterworth
A graduate of Arkansas State University, Lynn Waterworth has served the citizens of Jonesboro since 1988 and is currently Captain of the Criminal Investigations Division. Capt. Waterworth worked her way up through the ranks and has served as a dispatcher, patrol officer, detective, trainer, and crime scene investigator. She has filled various supervisory roles, at different rank levels over the years, in patrol, investigations, administration and internal affairs and led the department in our first successful achievement of national accreditation.
Captain Scott Roper began working at the Jonesboro Police Department on December 3rd of 1988. He was promoted to his current rank of Captain in 2001. Capt. Roper is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy and also holds a bachelor’s degree from Arkansas State University. He has commanded every division in the police department, was assigned to the Special Services Division in December of 2015 and transferred back to Captain of the Patrol Division in 2019.
Nelson joined the Jonesboro Police Department in 1993. He has served as a patrolman and Lieutenant in the Patrol Division, as Detective and Sergeant in the Criminal Investigation Division, and as Lieutenant in the Quality of Life Unit. Nelson is a member of the Jonesboro Police Department SWAT team where he most recently served as the Team Commander. Prior to his promotion to Captain, Nelson served as the Special Services Lieutenant. He served 13 years in the Missouri Army National Guard, including deployment to the Middle East during Desert Storm.