LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - One year ago, in response to a particularly violent winter, the Little Rock Police Department established the Violent Crime Apprehension Team.
Friday, Feb. 9, the Police Department provided us with the numbers on arrests, warrants served, and illegal materials taken off the streets.
They are touting the team as an epic success.
The Violent Crime Apprehension Team (VCAT) is a group of highly-skilled Little Rock Police Officers tasked with getting the City's most dangerous criminals off the streets.
"In the last year, they have arrested 976 people. Out of those arrests, they've gotten 1,900 felony charges and a little over 1300 misdemeanor charges, as well as a little over 1,000 traffic citations,” said LRPD Officer, Steve Moore, adding the VCAT was formed one year ago, meaning these numbers are a reflection of the last year alone.
"The numbers show what a good job they've done,” he said. “Amongst those arrests we've also seized almost 250 pounds of marijuana, several grams of cocaine, methamphetamine and prescription pills off people they arrest."
While they both serve important functions for the City, the VCAT is not to be confused with the SWAT team. Officer Moore explained that while SWAT is more reactive, VCAT has a more proactive approach.
"They work out of every division, every precinct that we have in Little Rock, and they go to hotspot or high crime areas and try to be proactive in those areas and be seen,” he said of the team.
"There's no doubt in my mind, a police presence is definitely needed,”Glenn Hersey told us. He is Outreach Pastor at St. Mark Baptist Church in the 12th Street Corridor; one of the City's hotspots. "When the police presence is there, there's no doubt in my mind that crime is down and will continue to go down."
Their presence has also helped ease the burden on other officers. Patrol officers now have more time to patrol because VCAT is able to serve warrants on violent criminals.
"They'd start doing their own investigation. Where does this individual hang? What are their addresses? Family members, things like that. Most of the time, within a few days, they have that person in custody,” said Moore.
The VCAT team has had some notable arrests, including two men suspected in the drive-by shooting of Little Rock toddler, Ra’Miya Reed.