On Wednesday, October 19, 2022, members of the Hot Springs Village community gathered with local first responders to celebrate the unveiling and blessing of new police badges.
The ceremony began with prayer by Police and Fire Chaplin, Pastor Ronnie Gilmore, also known as Pastor G. Pastor G. asked for protection over the community and the officers. Hot Springs Village Police Chief, Kristi Bennett, performed the pinning ceremony.
Chief Kristi said that although she has had a long career in law enforcement, “I have never seen a police chaplain and community that is so supportive of law enforcement, firefighters, and first responders than I have here in the Village.”
Bennett credited the new badges to the financial support of the Hot Springs Village Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association (HSV CPAAA).
The Chief said when she first came to the Village this past July (2022), Village officers told her they wanted to “move forward with a progressive image and make sure that everybody knows how dedicated we are to serving and protecting” the community. Village officers worked with a digital designer to create the new badge design. She continued by saying, “this event is not about me, but about the dedication and professionalism of the Village police officers.”
The new badge is unique in that it is the only badge in the State of Arkansas that depicts both the state and national flags. Ruth Caverly, President of the HSV CPAAA, pinned the Chief’s new badge before Bennett pinned the rest of the attending officers.
In addition to the unwavering and loyal support of the HSV CPAAA, Bennett also credited the POA and General Manager, Kelly Hale, and the HSVPOA Board of Directors with their staunch backing of the HSV Police Department.
The Blessing Ceremony was conducted at the First Assembly of God Church, located at 1096 DeSoto Boulevard in Hot Springs Village. Immediately following the ceremony, there was a reception with a variety of hors d’oeuvres and snacks, provided by the church.
Report by Cheryl Dowden; Photography by Joe Dowden
Cover image – HSV CPAAA President, Ruth Caverly, pins new badge on Police Chief Kristi