Little Rock in Arkansas declares violent crime a public health emergency

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Little Rock authorities have seen an increase in violent crime caused by shootings.

Photo: Benjamin Krain/Getty Images

The city government of Little Rock, the state capital of Arkansas, declared that the violent crime is a public emergency between an increase in shootings occurred in recent weeks.

The city’s board of directors approved the resolution for the declaration after Mayor Frank Scott Jr. will present it during a meeting on Tuesday.

The resolution “demands lawmakers’ attention” and includes provisions to fund community partners through grants and other funds, hire more mental health workers and add additional officers to the Little Rock Police Department’s street crime unit, according to ABCNews.

Gun violence β€œposes a serious threat to the health and quality of life of all residents of the City of Little Rock, Arkansas,” the resolution states.

During the meeting, several board members expressed concern about the escalation of gun violence in the cityABC Little Rock affiliate KATV reported.

At least 10 people were injured in multiple shootings over the weekend alone., according to the police.

β€œThe loss of life is staggering, and I see it as basically an entire generation being genocidal,” said city director, DorisWright, during the meeting.

Crime rates in the city have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, said City Director Capi Peck. β€œI wish we would have done this a long time ago,” Peck said. “It is not new. It has intensified.”

The resolution was passed after the meeting lasted nearly five hours, KATV reported. Scott thanked the board of directors in a tweet Tuesday night for passing the resolution.

Violent crime in Little Rock has been a constant theme, with initiatives by the police department and announcements of changes by city officials.

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