LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- It’s been one week since Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola introduced the new “Little Rock for Life” plan to help combat violence in the city.
The mayor said solving the violence problem in the city is something he is thinking about 99% of the time.
“If I could hire superman, I would certainly be doing that,” said Stodola.
Crime is on the minds of Little Rock residents too, especially after the recent mass shooting at Little Rock’s Power Ultra Night Club that injured 28 people. Some people just want to know when they will feel safe again. The mayor said making people feel safe is something he is working on every single day. He said some parts of the “Little Rock for Life Plan” are being rolled out soon.
“Our contract with Our House on felony re-entry is going well and they've served over 250 individuals,” he said. “We have a grant we just received that we are going to be doing a press conference on this coming week that is very significant in terms of a major amount of funding we’ve received from the Department of Labor.”
Stodola said he's also moving forward with introducing a new city ordinance. It would require video surveillance at certain businesses to help police solve crime. He is hoping to have that available for the public and city board to see this coming Tuesday.
One of the central focuses of “Little Rock for Life” involves fixing the police shortage. The mayor said the city has begun the major marketing plan to bring in new officers.
“The police chief has promised me that he’s going to have 60 people hired by the end of the year,” said Stodola. “I’ve really demanded from our City Manager and our Police Chief that we ramp up the hiring process and we fix this shortage issue.”
THV11 reached out to the Little Rock Police Department to get their perspective on the plan, but they said they are being advised not to speak on the issue because this is “the mayor’s initiative”. When the mayor unveiled the plan, THV11 also reached out to Chief Buckner and he said he would not comment. Mayor Stodola said he's not sure why no one from the LRPD is saying anything about the plan.
“They know the challenges, they know what their responsibilities are, and we expect them to meet these challenges,” said Stodola.