State Watch

Little Rock declares violent crime public health emergency amid spate of shootings

The city of Little Rock, Ark., adopted a resolution on Tuesday that declared recent violent crime in the community a public health emergency.

The resolution stated that the city “will employ a holistic approach to addressing violence through law enforcement and community programming, including by hiring social workers and others to address violence in the community and increasing “strategic and targeted patrol in the most violent areas.”

The resolution also establishes an emergency response team by the Community Programs Department’s Office of Neighborhood Safety, where services would be coordinated between city departments and the Little Rock Police Department.

Additionally, for the next 30 days, budgetary limits related to the police’s overtime efforts would be temporarily removed.

#UniteLR – grateful for my colleagues on the City Board for passing a resolution (9-1) to address the community violence as a public health crisis in @CityLittleRock,” Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. tweeted on Tuesday. “This resolution emphasizes and reiterates our collective focus on addressing community violence holistically while allowing expedited processes to deploy resources more quickly.”

The announcement comes as the city has recently seen a spike in crime. Between Friday and Sunday, 10 people were victims of firearm-related violence, the resolution noted. One of those 10 was fatally shot, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette noted.

“The City of Little Rock had fifty-three (53) homicides involving a firearm in 2021 and all six (6) homicides have involved a firearm so far in 2022,” the resolution noted.

Little Rock is not the only city to grapple with gun violence. New York City is still reeling from the deaths of two New York Police Department officers who died after responding to a 911 call about a family dispute.

“It is New Yorkers against the killers and we will not lose. We will protect our city,” Adams, a former police officer, said at the funeral of one of the slain officers on Wednesday.

Tags Arkansas gun violence Little Rock New York City

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