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Little Rock city leaders seeking change with community conversations

Little Rock city leaders held a public forum to address the violent crime in the city, which often leaves the community wondering what they can do to help.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — While there isn't one clear solution for crime, many in Little Rock hope that community conversations are a good place to start.

The Little Rock Racial and Cultural Diversity Commission (RCDC) is diving in deeper in order to make a lasting impact on the city.

While Little Rock community members aren't all violent, the city still has its fair share of violent crime.

With that in mind, city leaders are trying to figure out how to solve that problem.

Tim Campbell is the Ward One Commissioner for the Little Rock RCDC and already has some plans in mind.

"I think when it comes down to problem solving. I think the first step is conversation," said Campbell.

More than a dozen people filled a room inside the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center Saturday.

Each person was there to listen and be a part of the change so many desire.

"It's time to get into the community [and] have a dialogue around what should happen next," Campbell said.

From a retired, and now interim police chief, to those heavily involved in the community, Campbell said he wanted a panel of people from different walks of life to have a transparent and intense solution based discussion.

"Well, we talked a lot on this panel today about being the things that you can't see, [and] it's very hard for our youth to be things that they can't see," Campbell said.

Every child's life is different, and that's something that's understood by city leaders.

Whether you are a parent or a friend of the family, things like teaching kids about financial incentives is something the panelist believe could keep teens busy and away from violence.

That's something Campbell said he missed out on years ago.

"I grew up in in a very tough time and I didn't go through these conversations. My family didn't go through these conversations, the people around me weren't joining these conversations," Campbell said.

The commission said 'Diving Dialogues' is something that started after Courageous Conversations. 

That series of events allowed city leaders to discuss ways with the community on how they can tackle violent crime in Little Rock.

"We wanted to continue that discussion, but broaden it to beyond law enforcement to include mentorship [and] financial opportunity," said Sky Brower, Ward Four Commissioner for Little Rock RCDC. 

"We've got to get people realizing that we cannot depend on the mayor, or the police chief to solve these problems for us. They need our help," Brower.

He believes that continued conversations will play a key role in ending crime.

"We love our city, we love Little Rock, and we're not going to give it up to violent crime," Brower said.

This was the commissions first 'Diving Dialogues' panel discussion.

They are hoping to do more in the future.  

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