LR City Board to meet Sunday on crime; public comments not allowed | Arkansas Blog

Friday, April 28, 2017

LR City Board to meet Sunday on crime; public comments not allowed

Posted By on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 3:58 PM

The Little Rock City Board will have a special called meeting at 3 p.m. Sunday to discuss the recent increase in violent crime episodes.

News release:

The Mayor and City Board of Directors will hear a presentation from Police Chief Kenton Buckner addressing the recent increase in violent crime.

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.” 
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.

Nor did it mention whether City Manager Moore has created a full review of the program that allows the majority of the force to drive police cruisers home to suburban cities, some on 100-mile roundtrips, as a perk and supposedly to aid their speedy return to duties. Spotting hundreds of police cars at the homes of cops in residential neighborhoods around Little Rock would like have a beneficial effect.

UPDATE: A city spokesman said public comments will not be taken Sunday. In other words anybody who attends must endure in silence camera-calibrated posturing by Stodola and Co.  No angry ripostes allowed. But you could try. Maybe they'll do a Luke Skeablevin you and ban you from Cuty Hall.

Multiple drive-by shootings in the last week left a daycare caregiver dead from a stray bullet intended for another house. Two would-be robbers were shot, one fatally, when they reportedly tried to rob a man in an apartment building in Midtown. And those are just some of the highlights.

Stodola talked extensively about public safety in a state of the city speech in March, extolling the police and efforts to improve the department.  He said this then:

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.

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