LITTLE ROCK, Ark – Little Rock’s Mayor and Board has declared gun violence in Little Rock a public health emergency after a four-hour controversial meeting.
“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 Little Rock,” Scott said in a social media post soon after the meeting. “This resolution emphasizes and reiterates our collective focus on addressing community violence holistically while allowing expedited processes to deploy resources more quickly.”
Before the meeting began, Mayor Frank Scott Jr. passed out a 3-page-document to the board detailing the gun violence in the city and 10 solutions to the problem.
“The lost lives [in this city] is just outstanding,” board member Doris Wright said.
One of the solutions looks at expediting funds to community programs that help curb violence in youth.
In a span of 48 hours this week, LRPD says 10 people were shot, most victims under 25 years old.
“I would tell you that this was a crisis the week before that and the week before that,” said board member Dr. Dean Kumpuris.
LRPD says more young people are solving problems with bullets and mentorship is needed now more than ever.
“These young children don’t expect to live past 25,” Wright said.
Other solutions in the document outline creating an emergency response team, getting rid of overtime restrictions for LRPD officers for the next 30 days and increasing patrol in high crime areas.
“It’s not going to stop overnight,” LRPD Chief Keith Humphrey said.
LRPD says it’s all hands on deck, saying it will take the whole community working together to solve the problem.
“We’re not going to arrest our way out of this,” Chief Humphrey said.