Jonesboro Mayor Harold Copenhaver and Police Chief Rick Elliott addressed the recent influx of gun-related crimes throughout the city during a press conference Tuesday afternoon. Copenhaver and Elliot said even though the individual crimes are all related and do not represent random criminal activity in the area, city leaders remain committed to preventing such activity and have met extensively about ways to further reduce all crime in Jonesboro.
“The shootings this week involve one group of people trying to settle their disputes with gunplay,” Elliott said. “We know there are witnesses to the crime, although they are reluctant to reveal information out of fear of retaliation. It makes our job harder, but sometimes the only way we can make a case is with forensic evidence.”
Nevertheless, JPD crime statistics remain consistent year to year, city officials say, thanks to continuing commitment of the mayor’s office and the police department to find new, cutting-edge strategies to prevent and solve crime in a constantly growing city.
“Year over year, violent crime in Jonesboro has not changed much per capita,” Copenhaver said. “That said, if you are the victim of a crime, statistics don’t matter. I don’t want people to be afraid, and times like this are frustrating because Jonesboro is and will continue to be a safe city for law-abiding residents. It will also be a bad place for people who want to commit crime.”
Gunshot incidents to date in 2021 total 67, which matches exactly the number from 2019, as of Nov. 23. The number to date in 2020 was down to 47, likely attributable to the pandemic lockdown.
“We will continue to invest in public safety and dedicate the resources to make arrests and get criminals off the streets,” Copenhaver said.