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JEFFERSON COUNTY SHERIFF TAPS RETIRED 26-YEAR LAW ENFORCEMENT VETERAN FOR UNDERSHERIFF POST

The taste of retirement didn’t take long for John Hughes, 49 to return to law enforcement after his August 31st retirement as one of Pine Bluff Police Departments most tenured officers.

On November 1st, the retired Pine Bluff Vice & Narcotics Detective and former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force Officer with nearly three decades with the Pine Bluff Police Department, was sworn in as the newest Jefferson County Sheriff Chief Deputy also referred to as the “Undersheriff”.

Hughes and Woods first met in 2005, when both were assigned to the Tri-County Drug Task Force.  However, Woods was re-assigned in 2008 to the DEA as a Task Force Office (TFO) during Jefferson County’s Gulf Coast High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) designation encompassing a four-state area comprised of 27 HIDTA counites to include Jefferson, Benton, Pulaski and Washington Counties.  Hughes would later also be assigned to DEA as a TFO until December of 2021, when he returned back to the Pine Bluff Police Department with plans to retire. 

“Chief Deputy Hughes was an asset to the citizens of Jefferson County during the time we worked together as young investigators,” said Sheriff Lafayette Woods, Jr. “I have complete confidence that he will be an even greater asset as our agency continues to pursue the best policies and practices that will ensure transparency and accountability, all while adopting emerging agency technology improvements for maximum efficiency.”

Chief Deputy or Undersheriff is second in command of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) and assumes the duties of the Sheriff in his absence.  Under Sheriff Woods’ administrative direction, Hughes will plan, organize, direct and coordinate the activities of the Administration to include providing advice on administrative issues such as Agency direction, legislative and operational concerns and budgetary and personnel matters.  Hughes will be responsible for the effective management of JCSO personnel and budget resources.   

“The experience over the last 26 years gives me a good prospective to work with Sheriff Woods and his team, “said Hughes, who was Sheriff Woods’ partner during their assignment to the Tri-County Drug Task Force from 2005.  “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve again and rejoin forces with a leader that I had the privilege of serving alongside.”

Also sworn in was Deputy Sheriff Tyler Givens, who served in the Armed Forces before completing his tour of duty and receiving an honorable discharge. Deputy Givens will be assigned to the Uniformed Patrol Division.

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