The White Hall Police Department is mourning the loss of a longtime officer who died Saturday from apparent injuries sustained during a motor vehicle accident in Arkansas County. Mark Bradley, 57, had been with the White Hall Police Department for seven years and held the position of lieutenant over operations. He started his law enforcement career with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office in 1988, a job he held until 2002. He then spent eight years with the Pine Bluff Police Department before starting at White Hall.
“Mark and I actually worked together at Pine Bluff first, before I came here,” White Hall Police Sgt. Mickey Buffkin said. “We worked together for four or five years and were great friends from the day we met.”
Buffkin said Bradley was efficient at his job and did not hesitate to help other people do their jobs better.
“If he saw you doing something that might affect you down the road he was going to step up and let you now, even if that ended up hurting your feelings initially,” Buffkin said.
An outpouring of condolences for Bradley's family appeared on the White Hall Police Department's Facebook page over the weekend and into the early part of the week. A department message read: “It is with a sad heart that the White Hall Police Department announces the passing of Lt. Mark Bradley. He succumbed from injuries he received from an early morning accident on 07-22-2017. News of his passing has brought much pain to our department, family and friends abroad. Funeral arrangements will be posted at the earliest convenience. Please keep his family in your prayers.”
Robert Reed wrote on the department's Facebook page: “A good man gone way too soon. Will never forget that smile. Ran into Mark a few weeks ago in of all places Branson playing mini golf with his little granddaughter and the smile was bigger than ever. My friend, one of my mentors I will greatly miss your friendship. Prayers to the family.”
Julie Garrett wrote: “He will definitely be missed by many. He was one of the greatest people to ever walk into any place. Always would light up a place. He will be greatly missed by me for sure. I'm praying for his family and all that knew him.”
Mike Dorn wrote: “Sad to hear about Mark. He was one of the best guys I knew. I pray the Lord will comfort his family, friends, and WHPD during this most difficult time.”
Late Monday, Jefferson County Sheriff Gerald Robinson issued the following statement directed at Bradley's family and co-workers: “I would like to express, on behalf of the men and women of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, our deepest condolences. … He leaves behind a legacy which will long endure the passage of time and will remain as a comforting memory to all who knew him. Again we extend our deepest sympathies to the Bradley family and the entire WHPD during this period of mourning. Lieutenant Bradley will be deeply missed.”
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, July 26, at Watson Chapel Baptist Church. Visitation will be from 9-10:30 a.m. The funeral will begin at 10:30 a.m.
Bradley is survived by his wife of 32 years, two daughters, one granddaughter and a host of other family and friends.
“He loved his family and he loved fishing,” Buffkin said. “That was his biggest hobby.”