LITTLE ROCK, Ark. --Little Rock police say downtown Little Rock is experiencing record high numbers in violent crimes. Little Rock police say downtown Little Rock is experiencing record high numbers in violent crimes.
A green oasis, hidden in plain sight, "I have been gardening in this garden for 13 years," says community member, Debbie Dillard Preston. Just blocks away from the scene of a double shooting last Sunday, that left two 16-year-olds injured."You can tell it's in waves, in pockets in certain sections of certain streets," says Dillard-Preston.With roughly 42 aggravated assaults reported since the beginning of the year, Debbie Preston, a long-time Oak Forest homeowner, says the violence doesn't define her neighborhood."I never felt threatened, never been threatened," she says.
There have been 112 aggravated assaults in little rock, this year alone. Altogether, 17 homicides and 60 shootings. "We are aware of that, we are trying to address that logistically, from putting in the additional amount of resources," says Lt. Steven Mclanahan, with LRPD. Little Rock police say violent crime in Downtown areas are up compared to this time last year."We're busy, we are still shorthanded, and we are trying to get those numbers back where they need to be."
Like this community garden, Preston is hoping the beauty of her neighborhood, isn't overshadowed by violence."By building this garden you're planting roots," she says. "So people can see the neighborhood the way I remember it."
Police say they are working on bringing those numbers down. They say they are hoping to get help from community and faith based organizations to crack down on crime.