UCA names Merguie police chief

The University of Central Arkansas recently announced that John Merguie has been named chief of the UCA Police Department.

“John has served the UCA community for more than 20 years from patrol officer to chief. He will continue the tradition of excellence and professional standards of the department,” said UCA President Houston Davis. “It is an exciting time at UCA, and Chief Merguie is an important part of our future.”

The veteran law enforcement officer is currently the longest-serving officer in the department. He began his career at UCA in 1991. His total law enforcement career spans approximately three decades.

“John is well-respected in the law enforcement community here in Arkansas and throughout the nation.

We look forward to his continued leadership and success to what’s known as an already outstanding department,” said UCA Chief of Staff Kelley Erstine.

The UCA Police Department has 28 sworn police officers, nine communication officers and three civilians.

John Merguie is the new chief of the University of Central Arkansas Police Department.

Merguie was appointed interim chief in February 2017 after the retirement of Larry James, who served as chief for 23 years. Prior to becoming interim chief, Merguie served as operations commander and both a lieutenant and captain of the Commander Patrol Services Division. He has also had law enforcement experience with the Craighead County Sheriff’s Office and Newport Police Department.

“Since coming to UCA as a patrol officer, I have been a part of the university’s growth and the police department’s commitment to serving this community,” Merguie said. “Now, as the police chief, my goal is that the entire department continues to promote positive relationships across our campus.”

Merguie earned an associate of arts degree from UCA in August 2017.