LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – All three Little Rock mayoral candidates vying for your vote in November participated in a forum addressing a number of issues at the Pleasant Valley Country Club on Thursday.
A few topics were discussed, such as property rates but coming off a weekend of shooting violence, crime was top priority.
Over the weekend there were over 15 shooting resulting in multiple deaths and injuries.
Wednesday, a 5-year-old girl and her mother were shot inside their home on Fillmore street.
Greg Henderson, Steve Landers and current Mayor, Frank Scott Junior, each discussed crime solution at the forum.
Scott said, “crime is not a short-term fix.”
Adding to that the issue of crime is the youth and he’s put in place a long-term solution by providing resources to them by leveraging federal dollars to assure that young people have something to do.
Scott also hit on improvements he’s made to LRPD. He said officers aren’t equip to handle mental health issues, so he’s added 4 social workers to the department as a way to help with mental health issues as crime ticks up in that area.
“We have to have somebody that’s a leader to lead us out of this now,” Landers said.
Steve Landers said the city must grow the police department. Pointing out Mayor Scott has not reached the 100 patrolman he aimed at adding to the department when taking office.
“Our policeman are good policeman. We just cannot run this city with the amount of policeman and patrolman that we have now.”
Meanwhile candidate Greg Henderson said having police working hand and hand with neighborhood associations will be part of his focus.
“We have to get in with our neighborhoods and understand the problems beforehand,” Henderson said.
Henderson called also for changes to 911 call centers
“We’ve got to address the staffing at call centers and also in the police force so they can respond. That’s going to de-escalate some of these violent crimes.”
There have been 51 homicides in the city of Little Rock so far in 2022.
In the year 2021 there were 64 homicides.