White Hall Mayor Noel Foster announced on April 2 that law enforcement veteran Greg Shapiro will succeed Richard Wingard as chief of the White Hall Police Department. Shapiro is a former captain of the Pine Bluff Police Department and is an auxiliary deputy for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

He also teaches criminal justice classes at Southeast Arkansas College.

“We had a pretty extensive process, and we had applicants from all over the state and from all over the United States apply for the job,” Foster said.

"His experience, his formal education, his extensive training, and all of those things combined, along with the fact that he has been a long time resident of the city with roots in the community, came into play.”

Foster said he didn’t want to have to go through another search in two to three years due to hiring someone away from the area, so it was decided to pursue a local applicant.

“I felt like he was someone who would bring stability and who will be here for a while,” Foster said. “There are several things that were considered, and he was appointed with the full support of the City Council. It was a difficult decision.”

Foster continued:

“I felt like that Chief Shapiro brought a skill set that we will need to update our public policies and protocols at the Police Department. I think that that department is doing a great job now, but I feel like we could always make improvements. I think he will have a skill set that will help us in that area.”

Shapiro said he is excited to get to work in White Hall.

“I am … blessed and ready to get started,” he said. “It is my hometown and a great community. I’ve lived in White Hall for 15 years. I left Pine Bluff Police Department as a captain. I did not retire, I just left. I came over to SEARK and have been teaching the criminal justice classes, and at the same time I have worked part-time at the Sheriff’s Office”

Shapiro said he wants “to get these officers the technology and the tools that they need to work smarter and not harder.”

His first day on the job was last Friday.