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History of the Sheriff's Office

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Photo of Sheriff Lafayette  Woods Jr.
Sheriff Lafayette Woods Jr.
Term: 2019-current

Sheriff Lafayette Woods, Jr. began his career with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office in 2004 as patrol deputy. He has worked in nearly every aspect of the sheriff’s office including the Tri-County Drug Task Force, where he was assigned from 2005 to 2008 prior to being re-assigned to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Little Rock District Office to serve as a Task Force Officer as part of Jefferson County’s Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).


Also in 2008 while assigned to the DEA and as a collateral duty, Woods was tasked with overhauling the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office-Internal Affairs Division, implementing new policies, and operating procedures.


In 2009, Woods was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and major in 2010, serving as the operations commander with the responsibility of overseeing the sheriff’s office operations, public relations, support services, courthouse security, and administrative personnel. As major, Woods maintained oversight of nine divisions of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and coordinated all major operations. As a collateral duty, Woods also serves as the spokesman or public information officer (PIO) for his agency. Sheriff Woods is a certified Law Enforcement Training Instructor.


On May 22, 2018 at the age of 37, Jefferson County voters elected Woods as sheriff over two challengers in Jefferson County’s democratic primary. Winning 56.90% of the vote (4,639) and carrying 108 of 202 precincts, Woods claims the current title of youngest sheriff in Arkansas out of 75 sheriffs. On January 1, 2019, Woods was sworn into office by his father, U.S. Army Veteran and Jefferson County Circuit Clerk, Lafayette Woods, Sr. Sheriff Woods currently serves as Jefferson County’s 32nd sheriff and only second African American ever to be elected to the position.


Throughout his law enforcement career, Sheriff Woods has received over a thousand hours of specialized training from all over the country. Sheriff Woods serves on many boards and commissions to include the Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce “Chairman’s Club,” Youth Partners, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Career Services Advisory Committee, West Rotary Club Pine Bluff, National Sheriff’s Association, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), NAACP, and the Jefferson County Central Democratic Committee.


Sheriff Woods also serves as a member of the board of directors for CASA Women’s Shelter, advocating on behalf of victims of domestic violence. Because of his work with domestic violence victims, Sheriff Woods was contacted in 2015 by Laura Webb; one of three victims’ rights advocate and domestic violence survivors named Laura, who inspired the creation of a joint task force created to review constitutional amendments related to victim’s rights. Webb was ran over with a truck by her estranged husband and left for dead in 2012 near Mt. Magazine in Arkansas. She suffered great physical injuries and underwent multiple surgeries.  


Sheriff Woods along with two Arkansas legislators, Rep. Charlotte Douglas R-Alma and Rep. Bob Ballinger R-Hindsville joined together at the Arkansas State Capitol to begin their review and make recommendations to Arkansas’ legislative body.


After meeting for several months, four laws concerning domestic violence were passed in Arkansas. Act 873 created a tool of resources known as “Laura’s Card,” that law enforcement in Arkansas can provide to victims of domestic violence. An explanation of the victim's rights along with information about medical, housing, counseling, financial, social, legal and emergency services available will be on the card. Information about obtaining compensation under the Crime Victims Reparation Act is also included.


Act 877 requires Arkansas law enforcement officer to conduct a lethality assessment, asking victims a set of questions to assess their level of risk of being killed by domestic violence. Also known as “Laura’s Law,” Act 877 will help officers identify victims most at risk of being killed in a domestic dispute and intervene accordingly.


Act 952 requires Arkansas schools to include domestic and dating-violence in health curricula.


Act 876 allows for victimless prosecution of domestic-violence cases. The law gives prosecutors and law enforcement power to investigate and prosecute domestic violence crimes without requiring the victims to testify.


Sheriff Woods is a proud member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., where he serves as Pine Bluff Alumni Chapter Vice Polemarch and reclamation committee chairman.



  • B.A. Criminal Justice ‘04
  • Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) ’19


  • Jefferson County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year presented by Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge ‘17
  • Community Empowerment Council, Inc. Outstanding Public Service Award ‘17
  • Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce Chairman’s Club (Red Coats) Member of the Year Award ‘16
  • Kathy Graves Leadership Award ‘13
  • Two time Meritorious Conduct Award Recipient
  • Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Service Award
  • Tri-County Drug Task Force Service Award
  • Pine Bluff Police Department “Chief’s Coin of Excellence”
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office Project Safe Neighborhood Coin of Excellence


  • Arkansas Criminal Justice Institute’s Law Enforcement Instructor Development ‘16
  • Arkansas Leader, Session XX, U. of A. Criminal Justice Institute ‘11
  • XXXVII (37th) Session of the School of Law Enforcement Supervision ‘11
  • Federal Asset Forfeiture, DEA Quantico, VA ‘09
  • Regional Counterdrug Training Academy, Naval Air Station Meridian ‘05
  • Senior Law Enforcement Training Certificate
  • Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy (ALETA) ‘04

Photo of Sheriff Lafayette  Woods Jr.
Sheriff Lafayette Woods Jr.
Term: 2019-current
Photo of Sheriff Gerald  Robinson
Sheriff Gerald Robinson
Term: 2007-2018
Photo of Sheriff Edward Lewis "Boe" Fontaine
Sheriff Edward Lewis "Boe" Fontaine
Term: 1999-2006
Photo of Sheriff William C. "Dub" Brassell
Sheriff William C. "Dub" Brassell
Term: 1977-1998
Photo of Sheriff Emmett F. "Buck" Oliger
Sheriff Emmett F. "Buck" Oliger
Term: 1967-1976
Photo of Sheriff Harold  Norton  II
Sheriff Harold Norton II
Term: 1955-1966
Photo of Sheriff Allen  Nixon
Sheriff Allen Nixon
Term: 1951-1954
Photo of Sheriff Garland  Brewster Sr.
Sheriff Garland Brewster Sr.
Term: 1927-1950
Photo of Sheriff S.F.  Vaulx
Sheriff S.F. Vaulx
Term: 1923-1926
Photo of Sheriff C.M.  Nichol
Sheriff C.M. Nichol
Term: 1919-1923
Photo of Sheriff R.H.  Williams
Sheriff R.H. Williams
Term: 1914-1919
Photo of Sheriff Edgar  Brewster
Sheriff Edgar Brewster
Term: 1910-1914
Photo of Sheriff C.M.  Philpot
Sheriff C.M. Philpot
Term: 1906-1910
Photo of Sheriff James  Gould
Sheriff James Gould
Term: 1902-1906
Photo of Sheriff H.A.  McCoy
Sheriff H.A. McCoy
Term: 1898-1902
Photo of Sheriff C.H.  Triplett
Sheriff C.H. Triplett
Term: 1894-1898
Photo of Sheriff A.G.  Thompson
Sheriff A.G. Thompson
Term: 1892-1894
Photo of Sheriff Frank  Silverman
Sheriff Frank Silverman
Term: 1888-1892
Photo of Sheriff G.W.  Prigmore
Sheriff G.W. Prigmore
Term: 1886-1888
Photo of Sheriff J.M.  Clayton
Sheriff J.M. Clayton
Term: 1876-1886
Photo of Sheriff J.F.  Vaughan
Sheriff J.F. Vaughan
Term: 1868-1876
Photo of Sheriff C.M.  Bagg
Sheriff C.M. Bagg
Term: 1864-1868
Photo of Sheriff A.F.  Kendall
Sheriff A.F. Kendall
Term: 1860-1864
Photo of Sheriff M.E.  Hudson
Sheriff M.E. Hudson
Term: 1858-1860
Photo of Sheriff J.G.  White
Sheriff J.G. White
Term: 1856-1858
Photo of Sheriff P.F.  Morton
Sheriff P.F. Morton
Term: 1852-1856
Photo of Sheriff J.J.  Hammett
Sheriff J.J. Hammett
Term: 1840-1852
Photo of Sheriff S.  Dardenne
Sheriff S. Dardenne
Term: 1838-1840
Photo of Sheriff Samuel Mitchell "Sam" Taylor
Sheriff Samuel Mitchell "Sam" Taylor
Term: 1836-1838
Photo of Sheriff S.  Dardenne
Sheriff S. Dardenne
Term: 1835-1836
Photo of Sheriff William  Kinkead
Sheriff William Kinkead
Term: 1832-1835
Photo of Sheriff Creed  Taylor
Sheriff Creed Taylor
Term: 1830-1832