Following a particularly violent week in Little Rock, all three Little Rock mayoral candidates convened for a panel discussion at the Pleasant Valley Country Club on Thursday, Aug. 18.
Current Mayor, Frank Scott Jr., Steve Landers and Greg Henderson each discussed crime solution during the forum.
Over the previous weekend, there were over 15 shootings across the city, resulting in multiple deaths and injuries.
According to Gary Burton Jr. at KARK News, Mayor Scott said that “crime is not a short-term fix” and that the issue of crime is the youth. In an attempt to rectify the issue, Scott has been working with local officials and organizations over the past several months to develop a long-term solution by providing resources with the support of federal funding to assure that young people have something to do.
Scott also reminded attendees that he’s recently added four social workers to the LRPD as a way to help with mental health issues as crime ticks up in that area.
Burton said Steve Landers remarked that Little Rock must expand its police department, pointing out that Mayor Scott has not reached the 100 patrolman he aimed at adding to the department when taking office.
“We have to have somebody that’s a leader to lead us out of this now,” Landers stated, according to Burton.
“We’ve got to address the staffing at call centers and also in the police force so they can respond. That’s going to de-escalate some of these violent crimes,” stated Henderson.
There have been 51 homicides in the city of Little Rock so far in 2022. In 2021, there were 64 homicides for the full year.
Source and photo credit: Gary Burton Jr., KARK 4 News