November 3, 2023
Chris Chapmond, Director of the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training, recently named two new members of his leadership team. Eric Wacaster has been named Deputy Director of Standards, and Jason Lawrence will be Deputy Director of Training.
“I am excited to have Eric and Jason as my partners in progress as we take CLEST to the next level of professionalism,” said Director Chapmond. “We share a vision and a common focus on increasing the professional competency of Arkansas law enforcement officers and improving the overall administration of law enforcement in the state.”
Mr. Wacaster previously served as General Counsel for the Arkansas Department of Public Safety’s Division on Law Enforcement Standards and Training. Mr. Lawrence announced this week that he will leave his post as Undersheriff for the Garland County Sheriff’s Office to join CLEST on November 13th.
“CLEST’s mission to provide top-notch law enforcement training and to ensure the integrity of standards for employment is essential,” said Arkansas Public Safety Secretary Colonel Mike Hagar. “I am confident that Director Chapmond has selected a leadership team that will advance CLEST’s objective of setting high law enforcement standards for educational, physical, emotional, intellectual and moral fitness.”
Mr. Lawrence previously worked in the Victim Witness Assistance Unit of the 18th East Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and as Court Administrator for the District Court of Garland County. In 2015, he joined the Garland County Sheriff’s Office as Chief Deputy before being promoted to Undersheriff in 2017. He is a certified law enforcement instructor in areas including Firearms Tactics, ALERRT Level 1, Crisis Intervention Training, Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events, ALS Less than Lethal, and Vincent Parks Law. He holds a Senior Certificate in Law Enforcement, is the Assistant Coordinator for the Troop K Child Abduction Response Team (CART), and a former Task Force Officer for the Western Arkansas Fugitive Task Force (WATF).
Mr. Wacaster began his career in law enforcement with the Hot Springs Police Department in 2005. He served in several capacities including Patrol Officer, Detective, Special Operations Officer, Special Operations Sergeant, SWAT Officer, SWAT Commander, Training Coordinator, and Training Sergeant. Mr. Wacaster has over 3,000 hours of law enforcement training and has taught over 1,400 hours as a law enforcement instructor. He holds a Senior Law Enforcement Certificate and is a certified professional law enforcement instructor in multiple subject areas including ALERRT Active Shooter, Firearms and Tactics, Operational Planning, Use of Force, Constitutional Law, Search and Seizure, Less Lethal, Leadership, and Defensive Tactics. Mr. Wacaster retired from Hot Springs Police Department in 2020.
Mr. Wacaster began his legal career as a Deputy Prosecutor for the 18th Judicial District East in Garland County, where he prosecuted a variety of criminal offenses in Garland County District and Circuit Courts, before joining DPS earlier this year.