LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The race for Little Rock’s next mayor is heating up. Thursday evening candidates hosted campaign events around the Capital City.

Incumbent mayor Frank Scott, Jr. opened a campaign office downtown and hosted a block party last night for his supporters.

After reporting that homicides are up 29-percent compared to last year, Scott says if re-elected he will continue his efforts to keep the community safe.

“While we have seen an increase in homicides, we’ve had a 70% clearance rate. That means we’re capturing the criminals that are committing these crimes, and that’s why we’re seeing our violent crimes reduced to a negative three percent.”

Another candidate, Steve Landers, also hosted a campaign party with his supporters at Guillermo’s on Rodney Parham last night.

Landers also shared his thoughts on what needs to be done to bring the homicide rate down.

He said it will take data-driven policing, a good police chief and improving morale through a first responder raise that better matches inflation. Landers also fears the crime could deter people from moving to Little Rock.

“There’s no real safe safe place for people to be. I don’t want my grandkids to be out at night. Nobody really wants to be out at night, and business will hurt.”

Mayoral candidate Greg Henderson also expressed his concern with the crime rate in the city.

“The two biggest problems contributing to an increase in homicides is a lack of trust within the police department causing internal conflicts and a lack of adequate staffing in both police, but also 911 services that is causing crimes to escalate to the point of homicide.”

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