LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Community members in Little Rock are speaking up for what they think their city needs and deserves to help fight crime.
Several members with the Youth Advisory Board were vocal throughout a public meeting by the Little Rock Board of Directors to help get ideas on how to fight crime. Niles Daniels said what they need most is financial stability. With that stability the group could help local kids by employing them to clean up the city.
“You have bridges in the city that dirty as heck and these kids could paint them,” another member of the Youth Advisory Board said.
Amy Stivers, a victim advocate for parents of murdered children, feel the state needs more facilities to help combat drug addiction in the state.
“We need to take the drug addicts and the druggies that are in these prison systems and crowding our prison systems and stop building other prisons and build a rehab or a place for these people to go," Stivers said. "It will help them get out of these places and be productive in society.”
Reverend Benny Johnson with Arkansas Stop The Violence was noticeably upset at the meeting. Johnson has been fighting to prevent crime in Little Rock throughout the years. He questioned the city, saying public safety is supposed to be it's number one priority, but that "over the past years, black people have been shot down like animals south of 630."
“Where's the sense of urgency when 2-year-old Ra’Miya Reed was killed back in November," Johnson asked. "Where was the sense of urgency when 3-year-old Acen King was killed?”
Several of the groups in attendance agreed on one thing, the programs in the city need to come together instead of working against each other, because there's power in numbers.
"Theres organizations that are available who can actually show more love than what the gang members are showing then maybe these individuals won't follow that activity," said Raymond Long, CEO of the Better Start Foundation.
Long's foundation hopes to provide children with mentoring that sets them up for "greatness and limitless possibilities for the rest of their lives."
If you missed tonight’s meeting, there will be meeting the next two Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. at the neighborhood resource center.