Pine Bluff Assistant Chief of Police Ivan Whitfield said Tuesday he has changed his mind and will not be retiring from the department as he indicated previously.

Pine Bluff Assistant Chief of Police Ivan Whitfield said Tuesday he has changed his mind and will not be retiring from the department as he indicated previously.

“After talking to people in the community, my family and co-workers, they encouraged me to stay so I have withdrawn my (retirement) paperwork as of today,” he said Tuesday afternoon.

Whitfield was a candidate for Jefferson County judge and during the campaign said he was going to retire from the department July 1. He was defeated in a runoff for the Democratic Party nomination for the position by former Pine Bluff mayor Dutch King on June 12.

Whitfield, who has worked for the police department for 30 years, was promoted to Assistant Chief by Police Chief Brenda Davis-Jones in January 2011. The position can be selected or removed at the discretion of the chief.

“I’m going to stay at the police department as long as I can be a benefit to the men and women who work there and be a voice for the community,” Whitfield said.

Whitfield filed a complaint last week alleging voting irregularities during the runoff with King.

A check of voting records from the runoff indicated that about 68 people who voted Republican in the May 22 primaries were able to cast ballots in the June 12 runoff, which affected only Democratic Party candidates.

Jefferson County Clerk Patricia Royal Johnson said Friday that her staff had scanned the election books that voters signed at polling sites during the runoff as requested by Whitfield, who was defeated by 154 votes.

A letter signed by Whitfield and delivered to the Election Commission Friday requested the commission canvass every vote in the runoff, something Johnson’s office has already done.

In February, Whitfield was placed on administrative leave and then fired by Davis-Jones after an investigation that followed the discovery of a weapon that the department had issued to him being found on a “person of interest” in a criminal investigation.

An attorney for Whitfield, Othello Cross, sent a letter to City Attorney Althea Hadden-Scott asking that the Arkansas State Police take over the investigation into the missing weapon and claiming that Whitfield being placed on administrative leave by Davis-Jones was in retaliation for refusing to tell her the identity of a person who provided information that reflected poorly on Davis-Jones’ boyfriend.

The Pine Bluff City Council reinstated Whitfield.

Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler has said the state agency is conducting an investigation into several weapons missing from law enforcement officers in the state, including Whitfield’s, but the investigation had nothing to do with personal differences between Whitfield and Davis-Jones.

The Commercial filed a freedom of information request for the investigation file regarding the gun that was rejected by Hadden-Scott after Whitfield’s firing was overturned by the council.