Mayor hopes community policing can help lighten the load of LRPD

LR Mayor looks to implement community policing, draws criticism

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola unveiled the Little Rock for Life initiative Thursday afternoon.

The goals in the plan included stopping violence, strengthening the LRPD, investing in crime prevention, promoting jobs and education, and rebuilding neighborhoods.  Mayor Stoloda hit a chord with some people when it came to how he plans to strengthen the police department.

“We're forming what we call the gray squad and the telephone cadet squad,” he said. “The city is going to be immediately implementing a civilian squad, that's equipped to handle low level traffic offenses and administrative work, thereby freeing up our police officers to respond to calls of service.”

He said sworn police officers are the city's most valuable resource and they're needed out on the streets. A lot of people in the community said they back the Mayor's initiative but they're not quite sure about community policing.

“When you say you want citizens they are relatives to someone, they may have gone to school with someone so asking citizens to do police work, a lot of times you have to be very careful that could be detrimental. We're looking for good results for the city,” said Little Rock resident Cheryl Warden.

“Civilians are not prepared for the type of situations that could happen in our streets. There's a lot of things that have to be looked at before you become a servant on the street who will be fair to the public,” said another Little Rock resident, Ron Watson.

We reached out to Little Rock police chief Kenton Buckner for an interview about the new program but he said this initiative is the mayor's doing and he will leave all comments up to him.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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