Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola
MAYOR STODOLA: Details a plan for a safer Little Rock.
is rolling out his plan to deal with crime at a City Hall news conference this afternoon.
You can read the 24-page plan here.
It is not meant as criticism
to say the broad themes are not new: Strong policing; investments in prevention; increasing opportunities so people don't turn to crime; improving neighborhoods; tough courts and probation enforcement.
The list of specifics under the criminal justice system caught my eye:
* Establish Domestic Violence Court
* Electronic Monitoring of Parolees
* Required Video Surveillance at certain businesses
* Aggressive Federal Gun Crime Prosecutions
* Ensure High Bail for Violent Crime Offenders
* Tougher Witness Intimidation and Bribery Statutes
The plan at the link details these and some other ideas for police
improvements. They include ideas he's talked about before: Stronger recruitment incentives for police; using non-officers for administrative duties and minor traffic accidents. He called for more community policing.
The list is long and detailed, if often familiar in terms of things like programs for youth and city cleanup efforts. It resembles nothing so much as the famous lists of small-bore projects that Bill Clinton liked to roll out in State of the Union addresses.
The mayor broadcast the event on Facebook.
He said these are complex problems without "quick fixes." He complained, too, that the recent mass shooting at the Power Ultra Lounge
had obscured many good things about the city and programs already underway on his list to make the city safer.
Among the new items: Ceasefire Little Rock
The CeaseFire model uses violence interrupters and outreach workers with street credibility to interrupt and resolve potentially violent situations before they escalate. CeaseFire Little Rock utilizes intervenors with street credibility who have the unique ability to directly engage disconnected youth and young adults to
intervene in disputes before they turn violent and to provide access to wraparound services. A pilot program has been implemented and additional intervenors arebeing added.
He also outlined a plan to find a way to prosecute some domestic violence cases on circumstantial evidence, not solely on the testimony of victims who are sometimes afraid to testify.
The presentation ran an hour.