by Max Brantley
Today, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola announced the formation of the Capital City Crime Prevention Task Force. This initiative convenes experts in the field to examine public safety and crime prevention systems. The task force will also review policies and laws while investigating best practices that would improve public safety and deter crime in Arkansas’ capital city.
“There is no one magic solution,” said Stodola. “The criminal justice system is complex and it is going to take smart, committed minds and the energy of our entire community to make our city safer.”
The criminal justice system is not a single entity, as it involves all three branches of government: legislative, executive and judicial. The Capital City Crime Prevention Task Force will bring together representatives from each area of expertise.
“It is critical that all of the parties within these branches of government work together,” Stodola said. “Fighting crime and making our streets safer is one of our most important obligations.”
The criminal justice system involves multiple jurisdictions and levels of government, including federal, state, county and municipal governments. This multi-jurisdictional task force is designed to complement the City’s Juvenile Crime Prevention Coalition and Mentoring Program.
Areas to be examined include arrest and pre-trial procedures, electronic monitoring, incremental parole violation sanctions with assessments, neighborhood alerts systems and video monitoring, sentencing alternatives, employment opportunities upon release, drug courts, predictive policing, saturation patrols, and other tools to be examined.
The committee will meet monthly and, upon conclusion, will issue a report on recommendations and best practices.
The following individuals have been appointed to the Capital City Crime Prevention Task Force:
Mayor Mark Stodola, City of Little Rock
City Director Kathy Webb, Little Rock Board of Directors – Ward 3
Larry Jegley, Prosecuting Attorney – Sixth Judicial District
State Rep. Clarke Tucker, District 35
Judge Alice Lightle, Little Rock District Court – Criminal
Police Chief Kenton Buckner, City of Little Rock
Bob Birch, Public Safety Chair – Fifty for the Future
Dawne Vandiver, Arkansas Parole Board
Judge Mary Ann McGowan, Circuit Court, 6th Judicial District
State Senator David Sanders, District 15
Sheila Sharp, Director - Arkansas Department of Community Corrections
Dr. Mary Parker - UALR Department of Criminal Justice
Dr. Stacy Moak - UALR Department of Criminal Justice
Randy Morgan, Pulaski Regional Detention Facility
Juan Carlos Hernandez, Attorney – Hernandez Law Firm
Kevin Crass, Public Safety Chair - Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce
Judge Leon Johnson, Circuit Court – 6th Judicial District
Ron Davis, Attorney – Law Offices of Ronald Davis