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Crime in Little Rock

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It seems to be a big issue right now with the murder rate higher than it has been in years. What can be done to better control the crime rate in LR and how much of a problem does it really represent?

Why do Little Rock and similar cities in the South including Shreveport, Jackson, and Memphis have such problems with gang-related crime?

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Why do Little Rock and similar cities in the South including Shreveport, Jackson, and Memphis have such problems with gang-related crime?

Actually Little Rock along with the cities you mentioned are not experiencing an increase in gang-related crime. The crime that these cities are experiencing today is nothing like the gang-related crime and murders we saw in the early 1990s. The murders in Little Rock this year have all been between two individuals that were close to each other rather it was boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, best friends, or drug dealer/crackhead. There are a lot of factors contributing to what these southern cities are experiencing today. Some of it has to do with the lack of jail space (releasing killers early to lock up new killers)...some of it has to do with the stress and desperation that people feel when the job market is so tight...and some just simply has to do with population increase. More people=more people to murder. Heck just last week there was a murder in the "quiet" suburb of Sherwood! BUT guess who was involved - a woman shot her own husband to death.

So the next time you guys are in the Little Rock area, instead of being worried about some stranger killing you, you should be more concerned about your spouse or significant other!

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Actually Little Rock along with the cities you mentioned are not experiencing an increase in gang-related crime. The crime that these cities are experiencing today is nothing like the gang-related crime and murders we saw in the early 1990s. The murders in Little Rock this year have all been between two individuals that were close to each other rather it was boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, best friends, or drug dealer/crackhead. There are a lot of factors contributing to what these southern cities are experiencing today. Some of it has to do with the lack of jail space (releasing killers early to lock up new killers)...some of it has to do with the stress and desperation that people feel when the job market is so tight...and some just simply has to do with population increase. More people=more people to murder. Heck just last week there was a murder in the "quiet" suburb of Sherwood! BUT guess who was involved - a woman shot her own husband to death.

So the next time you guys are in the Little Rock area, instead of being worried about some stranger killing you, you should be more concerned about your spouse or significant other!

So where are there almost no murders in NWA cities, then? Does something about LR make domestic violence worse or something?

That's not what the LRPD is saying. They think it's largely gang and drug-related.

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It's a complicated problem. Here are some of the root causes:

1) History

2) Disparity in wealth between rich/poor white/black sections

3) Culture (within the minority communities specifically)....which stems from history.

I really don't like to make generalizations like this, as I'm a card-carrying liberal, but these are the major problems I see.

My dad has a good Kenyan friend staying over at our house right now (he used to teach at ASMSA). He's a very intelligent and accomplished biologist. He sometimes complains about the American black culture and that the wrong things are often emphasized.

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It's a complicated problem. Here are some of the root causes:

1) History

2) Disparity in wealth between rich/poor white/black sections

3) Culture (within the minority communities specifically)....which stems from history.

I really don't like to make generalizations like this, as I'm a card-carrying liberal, but these are the major problems I see.

My dad has a good Kenyan friend staying over at our house right now (he used to teach at ASMSA). He's a very intelligent and accomplished biologist. He sometimes complains about the American black culture and that the wrong things are often emphasized.

So do most of my middle class black friends. There is an urban culture created when minorities are packed into largely segregated, impoverished neighborhoods in which nobody realistically sees themselves escaping by becoming a lawyer, doctor, or engineer. Few attempt to start businesses and move up the ladder with sweat equity the way new immigrants often do. Becoming athletes or drug lords is the only way to become wealthy. Ultimately, this leads to a culture where crime is what makes ends meet and it's acceptable to abuse drugs. I wish there were an easy solution to it but it's a big problem across the South - Shreveport, Jackson, Memphis, Birmingham, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Little Rock, etc - we're all dealing with it. The vast majority of inner cities in the South are shrinking or stagnant in part because of it.

You're observations are always pretty intelligent. You're a lot more grounded in reality than I was at your age.

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So do most of my middle class black friends. There is an urban culture created when minorities are packed into largely segregated, impoverished neighborhoods in which nobody realistically sees themselves escaping by becoming a lawyer, doctor, or engineer. Few attempt to start businesses and move up the ladder with sweat equity the way new immigrants often do. Becoming athletes or drug lords is the only way to become wealthy. Ultimately, this leads to a culture where crime is what makes ends meet and it's acceptable to abuse drugs. I wish there were an easy solution to it but it's a big problem across the South - Shreveport, Jackson, Memphis, Birmingham, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Little Rock, etc - we're all dealing with it. The vast majority of inner cities in the South are shrinking or stagnant in part because of it.

You're observations are always pretty intelligent. You're a lot more grounded in reality than I was at your age.

Yeh, some of what you say is true, but who gave you the idea about sports or selling drugs is the only way to make!....Did you make that observation or did one of your " middle class "black" friends? " I feel that it is a high death rate but its not just minorities theres a lot of stuff that you don't even hear about that goes on.........thats not even mentioned in the news. Some of the drugs are transferred from other sources also ......look it up....P.S. I think this topic is gonna get a lot of reads, which is exactly what the author wanted, but good topic none the last. I'll be back

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It's a complicated problem. Here are some of the root causes:

1) History

2) Disparity in wealth between rich/poor white/black sections

3) Culture (within the minority communities specifically)....which stems from history.

"Root Causes" is more of the left wing lunacy spawned at Berzerkely in the 1960's. It is now used by terrorist apologists to blame it all on white people or the evil Western nations. Wasn't true then, and isn't true now. I can understand why people believe it, though, as it gets repeated over and over so much that it is becomming accepted as the truth.

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Yeh, some of what you say is true, but who gave you the idea about sports or selling drugs is the only way to make!....Did you make that observation or did one of your " middle class "black" friends? " I feel that it is a high death rate but its not just minorities theres a lot of stuff that you don't even hear about that goes on.........thats not even mentioned in the news. Some of the drugs are transferred from other sources also ......look it up....P.S. I think this topic is gonna get a lot of reads, which is exactly what the author wanted, but good topic none the last. I'll be back

That is partly based on their observations and partly on mine. The guys I knew that were middle class grew up middle class and their parents had good jobs and were born into families that had good jobs. For some reason in American inner cities, there seems to be this trap in certain neighborhoods where almost noone ever gets out, it's just a repetitive cycle.

The way out for a lot of these people ends up being the military, though. In some cases it actually works.

In any case, explain your post a little better. "Some of the drugs are transferred from other sources also ......look it up", I have no idea what that means. The crack dealers in Little Rock aren't growing the stuff themselves and flying back and forth to South America.

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I thought I should mention this. All of this doesn't appear to be something limited to Little Rock. I just saw a story on the NBC National news talking about how a number of cities across the country have had a big jump in violent crimes and murders. Unfortunately Little Rock seems to be following a trend that's affecting quite a few cities across the country.

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"Root Causes" is more of the left wing lunacy spawned at Berzerkely in the 1960's. It is now used by terrorist apologists to blame it all on white people or the evil Western nations. Wasn't true then, and isn't true now. I can understand why people believe it, though, as it gets repeated over and over so much that it is becomming accepted as the truth.

Actually, I put part of the blame on the culture within the African-American community. Clearly your blinders disallowed you from noticing that, and you impulsively replied.

Or, if you meant to say what you said, and that all of my "root causes" were just examples of liberal propaganda....then what are you saying the "root cause" is? Are you saying it's an inferior defect in their DNA? Because, that's the only thing that could be implied if you don't even think it's a problem of their own culture.

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Actually, I put part of the blame on the culture within the African-American community. Clearly your blinders disallowed you from noticing that, and you impulsively replied.

Or, if you meant to say what you said, and that all of my "root causes" were just examples of liberal propaganda....then what are you saying the "root cause" is? Are you saying it's an inferior defect in their DNA? Because, that's the only thing that could be implied if you don't even think it's a problem of their own culture.

If you grew up in a major urban area, I fail to see how you could not agree with johnnydr's point. That's not a liberal viewpoint, I think 90% of liberals and conservatives would agree with that statement. Where liberals and conservatives differ is on what to do about the problem.

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Reading more, and talking with friends in the LRPD and Arkansas State Police, I have a couple of more comments.

Like someone else said, the murders this time around generally aren't gang-related. They are nearly all black on black and virtually all of the murders are friends and families, including a lot of domestic murders. They essentially all are occurring in the city's notorious impoverished neighborhoods or a handful of very cheap, shady motels. Essentially all of the murders this year are united by a common them - they are all drug-related and this is nearly always crack cocaine. There have been only a couple of traditional gang-related murders this year.

Again, this agrees with what many of us have said that the risk of murder or other serious violent crime if you aren't black, living in the citys' worst neighborhoods, and doing crack is infinitesmal.

Because the killings were nearly all by spouses, friends, or neighbors virtually all of the cases have already been solved and in more than 70% the suspect is already in custody.

This is about to become a key political issue. Nobody wants to see the city return to the decline of the early 1990s.

There will be a 1/4 cent sales tax proposal to expand the jail which has been filled to the gills for years and everyone expects it to pass.

The city has extended its "Operation Quiet Nights" which has officers patrolling the city's high-crime areas regularly at night. The LRPD, though, is struggling somewhat as this is a difficult type of crime to fight. Since these are largely domestic disputes its not as simple as rounding up all of the gang members,etc. These crimes aren't the kind that can be predicted before they occur.

The wide-open mayoral election will probably focus on this issue. Incumbent mayor Dailey is not seeking reelection. Republican businesswoman Barbara Graves was thought to be the early frontrunner and there have been a couple of minority candidates announce that have some influence. Mark Stodola, the former LR city prosecuting attorney and U.S. Representative candidate recently announced for mayor and will run on a platform of fighting crime and rebuilding Midtown Little Rock. He has proposed building a new police station in that central part of the city. Under Stodola's watch in the mid to late 1990s crime in Little Rock plummeted and though this was largely economic and not because of anything he did, I think this will give him a lot of pull in this race.

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Voting on the 1/4 cent jail tax is slated for 9/22 and early voting is taking place. There has been a big push for it by the cities in Pulaski Co and the sheriff's department as well as the county itself. A group calling itself Taxpayers Against Wasteful Spending opposes it. Key issues are monies that were spent on the Big Dam Bridge and River Rail, though apparently those were earmarked by the federal government and unavailable for use at the jail.

This will be an interesting one to see how it turns out. I'm not sure I would even hazard a guess.

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I would imagine the vote will pass only because the people who are more concerned with the crime will actually take the initiative to get out and vote.

Something that I never understood about the jail is why is it so close to the city? its several miles from almost everything in Little Rock (except westLR of coure). They should have put the jail amongst farmland or at least away from residential areas. It just seems like it brings that area of town down.

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Voting on the 1/4 cent jail tax is slated for 9/22 and early voting is taking place. There has been a big push for it by the cities in Pulaski Co and the sheriff's department as well as the county itself. A group calling itself Taxpayers Against Wasteful Spending opposes it. Key issues are monies that were spent on the Big Dam Bridge and River Rail, though apparently those were earmarked by the federal government and unavailable for use at the jail.

This will be an interesting one to see how it turns out. I'm not sure I would even hazard a guess.

I think they will scare many into voting for the tax this time. If this one passes, it maybe a decade before another tax passes. I wouldn't introduce another tax increase in any city in Pulaski County.

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I think they will scare many into voting for the tax this time. If this one passes, it maybe a decade before another tax passes. I wouldn't introduce another tax increase in any city in Pulaski County.

If another one happens it will have to be under a new leader with a lot of influence. People don't trust Villines or Dailey. If LR had the equivalent of Hays, it might be different.

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I would imagine the vote will pass only because the people who are more concerned with the crime will actually take the initiative to get out and vote.

Something that I never understood about the jail is why is it so close to the city? its several miles from almost everything in Little Rock (except westLR of coure). They should have put the jail amongst farmland or at least away from residential areas. It just seems like it brings that area of town down.

I do not know the reason for the jail being where it is but at one time the county had a place below Walton Heights and the river. It was located on County Farm Road. The state owned a lot of land on Roosevelt Rd. between the old State Police HQ and the Fairgrounds. Maybe the county got a deal from the state.

Why shouldn't the jail be in the city? A majority of the inmates are from Little Rock not out in the county.

Was not the old county jail down by the river by the Broadway Bridge?

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Why shouldn't the jail be in the city? A majority of the inmates are from Little Rock not out in the county.

Was not the old county jail down by the river by the Broadway Bridge?

I dont oppose the jail being in the city as much as i oppose it being near neighborhoods. A jail is one of those things like a landfill, airport or industial sector that everybody says "not in my back yard" The Jail should be closer to east Little Rock near the airport.

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I dont oppose the jail being in the city as much as i oppose it being near neighborhoods. A jail is one of those things like a landfill, airport or industial sector that everybody says "not in my back yard" The Jail should be closer to east Little Rock near the airport.

I agree, though that's not exactly going to help us get that are nicer. It should be off of the main roads somewhat. The problem is that the area West of the airport should gradually transition from industrial/abandoned to become part of the downtown Riverfront community and that would be an eyesore and a roadblock to that redevelopment. The I-440 corridor is the region's main industrial park and that wouldn't be a good place, either. Somewhere in South LR or south of the airport might be best.

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The jail tax election is tomorrow. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.

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Voting results have been released for the jail.

Voters have rejected a temporary a 0.25 percent increase in county sales tax to fund the expansion at the Pulaski County Jail. For: 12,088

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Voting results have been released for the jail.

Voters have rejected a temporary a 0.25 percent increase in county sales tax to fund the expansion at the Pulaski County Jail. For: 12,088

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Its not that they don't care but they don't trust the local officials. Right now the local governments in Pulaski County along with the county itself have combined budgets of over $225 million they spend each year. It would only cost 1% of this to open up the 200 plus beds the jail has now but not using. The tax would have doubled the jail budget to $18 million.

I agree. Citizens do care about crime. I think Judge Villines was too ambitious. This had a much better chance of passing if it were and eighth cent tax instead of a quarter. Still, it was soundly defeated, so even the lesser tax may have failed. I tend to believe the high gas prices contributed to some of the opposition.

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I think people don't trust Villines or Dailey right now. There is too much history there. I also think that the Demozette's active campaign against the tax and allegations of wasteful spending by the county influenced voters.

I think with a new mayor, which we'll have, LR can get more done. I wouldn't mind seeing Villines replaced as well. If only Patrick Henry Hays would step up into that position.

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If I were running for mayor, I know what I'd be campaigning on...

(number of police officers compared to number of violent crimes)

crimechart1.jpg

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