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story.lead_photo.caption FILE — Little Rock Police Department headquarters are shown in this 2019 file photo. ( Gavin Lesnick)

Little Rock police have stepped up enforcement efforts to control caravans, department spokesmen said Tuesday after a weekend in which officers made several arrests and gave out more than 100 citations.

The total police activity from Friday to Sunday produced 142 traffic citations, 217 traffic charges, 144 misdemeanor criminal charges and 18 felony charges, according to Police Department spokesman officer Eric Barnes.

Mayor Frank Scott made caravanning illegal in the city on April 7. Caravanning is when people loiter in vehicles in groups of 10 or more, sometimes resulting in drag races, burnouts and gunfire.

Spokesman Lt. Casey Clark said 104 citations were given in one incident at The Rave theater off Colonel Glen Road late Sunday and early Monday.

"We've been really stepping up enforcement anyhow," Clark said. "They were all in that parking lot, and we don't know precisely what time it was, but it was the wee hours of the morning. But they were drifting, and there were some racing and whatnot."

Barnes elaborated, saying the caravan started in the Riverdale area and blocked an intersection before moving to The Rave.

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"I believe that they blocked the area at the Exxon right there at Cantrell and Riverfront, but I know at one point there were calls in that area," Barnes said.

According to Clark, there were no citations issued for caravanning specifically. Most of the people cited were for loitering and some for reckless and prohibited driving.

For months, residents have been concerned about caravanning, and that concern ramped up after a group shot off fireworks before and after July Fourth. That group's activities resulted in complaints from the community throughout the month. Also some gunfire was reported.

That led to City Director Kathy Webb meeting with Police Chief Keith Humphrey and residents July 16.

Since then, the department has increased enforcement, Clark said.

"We have markedly stepped up enforcement over the last two to three weeks trying to do the best we can to bring people under control and get people to realize lawlessness isn't OK," Clark said.

In addition to the citations and charges, police had more than 50 vehicles towed away over the weekend, according to data compiled by Barnes.


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