LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The Little Rock Police Department started a new plan to help reduce violent crime. They've added 45 additional officers to patrol every day, 15 officers per division.
Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner sat down with us and said that this plan was necessary.
“We think it'll give us some traction in some of the areas we're having issues, specifically dealing with some of the individuals we believe are responsible for violent crime in our city,” he said.
The patrols will go to what are called "peak crime areas." Buckner claimed the plan will be driven by data to point out where the “peak” spots are.
“We have to continually evaluate what we're doing when it comes to the effectiveness of it," he said. "Obviously we continue to see this violent crime pattern in the city and we can't continue to do the things we've done because we're not getting the kinds of outcomes we'd like to see.”
The chief also told us they've asked for additional help from Arkansas State Police when it comes to highways in the city.
“They already ride many of these areas but we've asked them if they could increase the number of officers they have to ride the state highways within the city limits,” he said.
Buckner said while officers have already been putting in overtime and may be upset about the mandatory overtime, they understand there's still work to be done.
“The officers are tired already from the long summer that we've had but we certainly understand there's a job to do in front of us,” he said.
He said people shouldn't be afraid to live in or visit Little Rock.
“More often than not the high percentage of violent crime in our city are individuals who are engaged in things that have brought them to that avenue," he said. "I think that people who carry themselves in a dignified way and people who are not hanging out with people engaged in criminal behavior, this is still as relatively safe city."
As for the ongoing police manpower shortage, the department graduated 18 new officers a few weeks ago and on August 21 they have 27 people starting the next recruit class.
Chief Kenton Buckner is counting on those new officers to help close the gap.
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