by Max Brantley
The Mayor and City Board of Directors will hear a presentation from Police Chief Kenton Buckner addressing the recent increase in violent crime.The news release didn't mention the recent blast of city leadership by the Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police, which mentioned open positions and other pay issues.
Buckner and City Manager Moore are also expected to share with city officials:
· Police department efforts to solve these crimes
· Strategies that have already been implemented
· New initiatives that are planned
Stodola and Moore met Friday morning with police department leaders for a briefing.
“The recent retaliatory shootings in Little Rock have justifiably upset our community,” Stodola said. “We are committed to finding answers to bring a stop to this violence and we want to let the public know what the City is doing about it.”
Moore said open communication with residents is important.
“We felt it was important to share with the public that we hear their concern. We’re dedicated to keeping our residents safe and are actively working with the police department to address these issues,” Moore said. “During this meeting we’ll also discuss staffing needs that will help our police department with its goal of protecting and serving.”
It is important to note that violent crime is not widespread. It is in targeted zip codes and neighborhoods – focused pockets of the city. It is not a mystery. The areas are characterized by poverty; fragile families; limited access to jobs; easy access to guns and drugs; where a specter of mistrust and fear is constant.