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New position in Pine Bluff Police Department set to target crime

The City of Pine Bluff has created a new position focused specifically on addressing crime— and officials are hopeful for the future.

PINE BLUFF, Ark. — There's plenty of history in Pine Bluff, and Barbara Warren has been there for a lot of it.

"Born and raised," Warren said, laughing. "Just a good wholesome place to grow up, and I am excited I was a product of this place."

As time moves on, so do the memories of what Pine Bluff was like when Warren was growing up— unfortunately, the city has changed since she was a child.

"Definitely have a fair share of crime," Warren said.

It's a topic that has been addressed before. In her role as Superintendent at the Pine Bluff School District, the issues that crime can bring hit home, especially when it's a student she knows.

"When you find out it's a minor you start listening, and you wonder if that's one of your babies," Warren said.

So she got involved to try and find ways to help, and she's not alone.

Earlier this week, the Pine Bluff City Council approved a new job in the Pine Bluff Police Department, specifically focused on solving crime.

It could be housing, food insecurity, or just listening to the community— this person will be focused on solving the root issues.

"But we need somebody day to day who is looking at this every day and connecting all the dots," Warren explained. "And that's why this is huge."

Circuit Judge Earnest Brown also supported the position.

He works a lot with the juvenile court and has only seen the number of younger people in his courtroom go up.

"We're setting some realistic goals and what we'd like to see this position accomplish," Brown said. "I remember early on I didn't see very many gun charges and things like that, and that's something I see on a regular basis, young people."

While solving crime isn't easy, anything they can do will be a step in the right direction for Warren.

"And our city found a way to make it happen, so that's encouraging to me," Warren said. "And anyone who just looks for and sees the vision, I hope that's an example of Pine Bluff when it needs to come together, can come together."

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