JONESBORO, Ark. – Once again, an Arkansas State Police veteran finds himself in legal trouble. Despite this, the state police agency allowed the officer to resign instead of firing him moments before he was arrested for several felonies.
Mark Holland, 54, of Heber Springs, a nineteen year veteran Arkansas State Trooper, resigned on Wednesday, a press release said. He had been assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, Troop B, headquartered at Newport. Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police, has accepted the resignation.
Immediately after submitting the letter of resignation to his troop commander at a residence in Cleburne County, Holland was arrested by Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation and transported to the Independence County Jail. Bond has been set at $5,000.
Holland faces criminal charges that include eighteen counts of violating laws limiting access and use of information or records retained by the Arkansas Crime Information Center. The laws prohibit access and use of the records for non-law enforcement purposes. Using information gained from the records in the furtherance of committing other crimes is a Class D felony. Additionally, Holland is charged with terroristic threatening and stalking, also Class D felonies.
The state police investigation alleges that Holland unlawfully accessed the ACIC database and used information from the database to contact an Independence County woman who he stalked and made statements that formed the basis of terroristic threatening.
The Arkansas State Police first became aware of the allegations involving Holland last Friday (December 13th). At that time the Criminal Investigation Division initiated a criminal investigation. Holland was simultaneously placed on paid administrative leave.
Following the arrest this afternoon, Colonel Bryant said, “As law enforcement officers we are expected by the public, and even among ourselves as protectors of the public, to live by standards both privately and professionally that exceed the principles of all others.”
Despite his statement, Bryant still allowed the disgraced officer to resign as opposed to being terminated.
“I am both saddened and disappointed that someone who was among the ranks of the Arkansas State Police now stands accused of these crimes, but it is heartening to know we acted promptly to find the facts and present the evidence to the prosecuting attorney and court to hold this person accountable,” Bryant said.