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How Little Rock can fix the rise in violent crime

Willie Davis, a retired LRPD officer, shared with us his frustrations over the rise in homicides and how he thinks the city can help reduce them.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The City of Little Rock has reached homicide levels unseen since the days of the early 90s. The capitol city recorded the 70th homicide of the year.

For those living in Little Rock, it's a frustrating sight.

"Lifelong resident here in Arkansas, man," Willie Davis, a retired LRPD sergeant, said. "I grew up in the projects."

As Davis has gotten older, times have changed in Little Rock. Unfortunately, the problems of his early childhood in the 90s have not.

"I knew a lot of these family members of these people who were deceased or killed violently, because I'm from here," he said. "That made it even tougher."

A police officer for 28 years, Davis has seen more homicides than any of us should ever see. As the numbers continue to climb, Davis can still remember the lives lost.

"I remember the '93 numbers," he said. "There was a young lady that was in one of the pictures that I had put on my poster board. I went to school with her."

Solving this isn't easy, and it's been a topic in Little Rock for years. 

"Here we go again," Davis said. "Yeah, here we go again, but what are we gonna do about here we go again? We have to do something."

There is something Davis said can work though. It starts with being consistent.

"The OK Program that I have, and that I utilize to mentor Black boys, I don't have a perfect record," he said. "But I can tell you, I'm consistent I've lost boys in this program, but I'm consistent."

While there's no guarantee that anything changes, Davis said programs that keep kids out of trouble can help. 

And he said anything we can do is a step in the right direction.

"We can start doing some things, but we have to be bold enough to do that, to address it and to talk about it," Davis said. "I don't care what color you are, violence has no name, but it impacts us all the same."

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