LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. announces a public safety summit to combat crime.
Crime is perceived differently depending on who is talking about it.
To some, property crime is the problem.
To others, it’s the violence in the neighborhoods and the fact they don’t feel safe even in their own homes.
Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. says when it comes to the perception of crime, that’s a reality.
“The city is going to be what it’s going to be,” says Marcus Jackson.
Jackson grew up in Little Rock. He says crime has always been a problem, but it’s just something he’s lived with.
“Summertime, people get a lot more busy, running around, people get hot,” Jackson says. “They want food, they want money.”
It’s a cycle that’s hard to break.
“You see signs talk about neighborhood watch, but is anybody really watching?” Jackson asks. “Do you have your neighbor’s back?”
Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. calls crime in the city a top pillar of his administration.
“If someone feels that this city is unsafe, then it’s unsafe, and so what we want to do is to make sure we address crime proactively,” Scott says.
Mayor Scott says the Little Rock Police Department is finally up to full staff, and he’s increased police presence in the neighborhoods. His plan is to continue to grow the number of officers.
“As you have more presence within public safety, it curbs the perception that the city is not safe,” Scott explains.
Jackson remembers when former Sheriff Tommy Robinson took an unconventional approach to fight crime by spending time hanging out in spots in the community where crime was rampant.
“It kept a lot of people from going into liquor stores and different stores, things like that, robbing people and pulling guns,” Jackson recalls.
Jackson says we need to get to the bottom line, why are people committing crime, and address that.
“Even with that being said, you’re still going to have crime,” Jackson says. “I mean, what can you do?”
That summit will be held next week and it will focus on strengthening relationships between LRPD and federal law enforcement agencies, and include a session open to the public.