LR police response to mugging breakdown | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, January 6, 2011

LR police response to mugging breakdown

Posted By on Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 3:52 PM

You might remember the news that a man was mugged at Fourth and Louisiana about 10 p.m. Nov. 27. His leg was broken, but he waited 46 minutes for assistance after calling 911. No ambulance or police arrived and he finally was taken to a hospital in a private car.

Police Chief Stuart Thomas talked to the Downtown Neighborhood Association recently about police response to that episode. Some changes have been made. Kathy Wells reports on yesterday's session, which included a discussion about the demand on police for special events such as Razorback games and the resulting negative impact on coverage of the rest of the city:

Chief Stuart Thomas of the LR Police Dept. briefed residents at the DNA Mayor's Public Safety meeting yesterday about what action has been taken to remedy response shortfalls that occurred Nov. 27. A man was mugged and his leg broken at La. & Fourth, and at 10 p.m. that night he called 911 for aid. For 46 min. there was no response from police or ambulance crews. He got himself to the hospital in a private car. City Manager Bruce Moore apologized personally to the victim.

Thomas added more detail yesterday to what had been provided previously. He outlined these remedies and status reports:

* The damaged radio part has finally been replaced and put in service. Obsolete equipment meant the part had to be custom-manufactured. This part had been struck by lightning, so was not in service Nov. 27, resulting in no on-screen notations for the dispatcher to learn which patrol cars were available, or still answering a call for help. Slower radio reports on status moved by a secondary channel and were relayed to the dispatcher.

* Replacement of the obsolete radio equipment would cost $8 million, which remains out of reach despite efforts over the years to find this capital sum in the city budget, or by grants.

* The shift commander and deputy commander on the midnight shift have been replaced because of what Thomas concluded was "inadequate management by supervisors." Part of the shortfall in officers available to come to the aid of the victim resulted from the fact shift change was occurring in that hour from 10 to 11 p.m. This put a staggered array of cars out of service, while the afternoon shift officer returned to base, vacated the unit, and the midnight officer checked the condition of the vehicle, loaded his gear, and moved into service.

* Thomas said four more cars should have been brought into service sooner on the midnight shift, in view of the "perfect storm" of cascading problems in meeting the doubled calls that came in that hour. He repeated the observation that by the hour's end, calls had dropped back to normal for a Saturday holiday night (Thanksgiving). the fast-moving nature of the surge in calls meant there was no time to call in officers to come from home, get gear, and move into service. However, a typical response by supervisors to heavy call loads is to bring incoming officers in earlier, and to hold over the departing shift longer, and both actions were taken that night, he said.

* There were 31 officers protecting Little Rock on that shift that night. With some out of service moving prisoners, and some on calls that demanded three officers for one incident, and some changing to the next shift officer, the available officers dropped to 20 at times in that period.

* The Razorback game crowd was policed that day with a force that included 8 - 12 officers from the mobile unit, START unit and the DWI unit, so these were off the streets by the hour of the overwhelming surge in calls. These squads normally would serve as backup to supervisors in a time of high calls.

* The priority level for this medical-aid needed call was upgraded to Level 2. this had been on Level 3, and officers were dispatched on a same level with a burglar alarm being triggered.

* A discussion was held with heads of the fire and ambulance services, and more consideration is to be given by those supervisors on whether to proceed in the event no officer is able to come speedily. These have held back until an officer cleared the scene, to assure no further attacks or injuries occurred.

* Current policy is for the department to police major events held annually, and $1 million is budgeted for this purpose. These include popular crowd-pleasing events such as Razorback football games, RiverFest and the State Fair. To juggle the shortage of available officers, Thomas said, he has offered compensatory time off to officers to cover all tasks. These must eventually get that time off, Thomas continued, and that still leaves thin ranks to respond to all needs. He said he does urge event sponsors to provide more private security, and this is an element supplied in part at events today. He conceded he would always want more money, and more officers.

Sec. Kathy Wells asked Mayor Mark Stodola whether he would change this policy to require more security be provided by event sponsors, leaving more LR police to protect the city at large. A reply is pending.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (12)

Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Super Bowl line

    Over to you.
    • Feb 7, 2016
  • Hospitality, restaurant groups oppose bathroom bill

    Add the restaurant and hospitality association to those opposed to Sen. Linda Collins-Smith's bill to keep transgender people out of public restrooms that match their gender identity.
    • Mar 16, 2017
  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Another week done

    • Comes in handy, having insiders in all Time Zones. If one's asleep, another's raring to…

    • on July 22, 2017
  • Re: House health care bill preserves members' privileges

    • I read your post and I really like your post.Thank you for sharing this post…

    • on July 22, 2017
  • Re: Another week done

    • I recently watched the HBO series, "The Newsroom" on Amazon Prime (which I highly recommend…

    • on July 22, 2017



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation