Little Rock creates crime task force

The city of Little Rock has created a task force to examine pubic safety and crime prevention systems, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola announced Friday.

Topics the Capital City Crime Prevention Task Force will examine include arrest and pretrial procedures; electronic monitoring; parole violation sanctions; neighborhood alerts and video monitoring; sentencing alternatives; employment opportunities upon release from incarceration; and drug courts, Little Rock spokesman Luis Gonzalez said in an email.

The committee will meet monthly and issue a report on recommendations and best practices related to these issues, the email states.

City officials said the task force will include representatives from different branches of city government and with varying areas of expertise to deter crime. On the legislative side, state Rep. Clarke Tucker, D-Little Rock, and state Sen. David Sanders, R-Little Rock, were appointed. Three judges were appointed to the task force: Little Rock District Judge Alice Lightle, and 6th Judicial District Judges Mary Ann McGowan and Leon Johnson.

Among city officials, appointees include City Director Kathy Webb and Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce public safety chairman Kevin Crass.

On the law enforcement side, Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner; Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley, Arkansas Parole Board member Dawne Vandiver; state Department of Community Corrections Director Sheila Sharp and Pulaski County jail Chief of Detention Randy Morgan were appointed.

Attorneys Juan Carlos Hernandez and Ron Davis were also appointed, along with Fifty for the Future public safety chairman Bob Birch and University of Arkansas at Little Rock Department of Criminal Justice professors Mary Parker and Stacy Moak, Gonzalez said.

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