Joe Baker serves as the Director of Security for Southland Casino in West Memphis. Southland Casino is an established and growing casino in Crittenden County that currently is in the process of a huge remodel and expansion. This expansion will add an entirely new gaming floor area with new food outlets and a large tower style hotel to its current footprint. As the Director of Security, Joe is responsible for the safety of the facilities nearly 850 employees and the huge number of guests that Southland hosts each day. In addition to overseeing a staff of nearly 100 security staff, Joe is also responsible for valet and transportation services for Southland. Joe interacts daily with law enforcement and emergency response agencies on the local, state and federal levels to address many issues that come up due to legal issues and emergency response planning.
Joe is from Crittenden County, AR and has lived there his entire life. After attending Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Joe began a career in law enforcement with the Crittenden County Sheriff’s Office. Joe served as a deputy in the Horseshoe Lake area of the county before moving to the West Memphis Police Department where he served for 18 years. During his time at the West Memphis Police Department Joe was a member of the department’s SWAT unit and Narcotics enforcement unit for nearly 10 years. He was eventually promoted to Captain and commanded the department’s Criminal Investigation Unit and Patrol Unit. He was also tasked as the department’s Public Information Officer and handled all media communications. During his time with the department Joe participated in task force operations with the FBI, DEA, ATF and US Marshall’s Service and received special deputy status with each agency. Joe participated extensively in Operation Delta Blues which was a large public corruption and drug operation in Eastern Arkansas led by the FBI.
In his final several years at the WMPD before taking the position with Southland Casino as Security Director, Joe participated in the Department of Justice’s Public Safety Partnership program and was the representative from the West Memphis Police Department for the program which attempted to assist cities with high violent crime with Federal resources. During this time Joe traveled extensively all over the county visiting many areas including, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New Orleans, New York, and New Jersey and meeting with law enforcement executives. Joe has been a keynote speaker at several DOJ conventions in locations such as New York and New Orleans.
Joe received numerous award and citations during his years of service with the City of West Memphis Police Department and still is a very active member of the community. Joe is active in the Crittenden County Boys and Girls club and West Memphis school system. Joe is married to Starla Baker and they live in Marion, AR with their four children.