HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – In the last year, Hot Springs Police has seen a major uptick in violent crimes. One of their brothers in blue was killed in the line of duty. Today the department laid out an extensive plan to decrease crime in the community.
A new chief and a new plan for the Hot Springs Police Department as 2021 approaches.
“I saw some of these things being done in other cities that I was exposed to on the East Coast, saw the value in that,” Chief Chris Chapmond said.
When Chapmond took command of the department in July, he took a deep dive into looking at ways to reduce violent crimes within the Spa City.
“We’ve seen an uptick in certain areas,” Chapmond said.
This year alone, officers have responded to about 600 shootings. This plan includes purchasing Shotspotters which detects, locates and alerts officers the moment shots are fired.
“Pinpoint locations where these incidents are occurring and then to rapidly respond and respond in a safe manner. It’s a win-win situation,” Chapmond said.
The next tool in the toolbox, HSPD will purchase automatic license plate readers.
“It’ll help us track the suspects. We’re going to put it in the same areas that we’re utilizing the Shotspotter technology and that way as we build upon the program will be able to track events as they occur across our city,” Chapmond said.
Back at the station, Hot Springs PD is also adding an employee who will collect data from that new technology each day.
“To help formulate plans and identify trends and intelligence-based policing, you know, coming up with a game plan every single day when we leave the building,” Chapmond said.
This initiative isn’t just for those in uniform.
“Yes, we’re heavy on technology. We’re heavy on crime-fighting, but there’s a component of this that is community policing related,” Chapmond said.
He wants to incorporate every neighborhood into the conversation.
“You listening and understanding what the community really wants,” Chapmond said.
He believes in order to serve and protect the community, you have to know the community.
“So we could pinpoint where we need to better police,” Chapmond said.
The department is applying for several grants which will be used to purchase the Shotspotters and license plate readers.
Chapmond says the department will also start an outreach program for at risk youth.