Downtown Church to City Leaders: Loitering is ‘Out of Hand’

Local News

Roaming the hallway, Michael Spring keeps a close eye on the units at Downtown Little Rock Storage.

“I do this every day,” Spring says.

“I check locks.” 

But, it’s the space just around the corner that’s getting all the attention.

“I’ve seen police over there regularly,” Spring says, referring to the area in front of First Presbyterian Church.

A daily congregation can be seen lining the steps outside the historic church.

When our crew arrived for this story on Tuesday, police officers were there responding to a call.

According to e-mails we obtained, a church staff member e-mailed a city director earlier this month, calling the loitering “out of hand.”

“This is going to get rough, in my opinion,” Spring says.

In the e-mail, the staff member mentioned the church had a new pastor with plans to improve lighting and to remove landscaping that “enables questionable activity.”

The church does offer free lunches on weekdays, but some say crowds of people remain in the area hours after lunch is served.

For now, it remains an intersection where compassion meets concern in a space where many home crime can be kept under lock and key.

“They have a bit of a conundrum, I think,” Spring says.

The pastor at The First Presbyterian Church has not responded to our calls about the issue. According to e-mails, the church and the city discussed plans to schedule a meeting regarding the issue.

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