The Little Rock Police Department’s Recruit School graduated 18 new officers today at a ceremony held at the at St. John Missionary Baptist Church.
The LRPD and city officials have often discussed the large number of vacancies — more than 70 — as a significant factor in the problem of crime in Little Rock.
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There have been 38 recorded homicides this year in Little Rock.
After the Power Ultra Lounge mass shooting, in which 25 were shot, Mayor Mark Stodola announced LR for Life, a plan to reduce crime in Little Rock. It included multiple measures to increase recruitment, including monetary incentives for those who sign up for the police department and city employees that recruit others to enter the academy to become a police officer. The plan said it will “engage an advertising and public relations firm to deploy statewide and regional recruitment marketing plan.”
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge spoke to the graduating recruits. You can see her full remarks here.
She mentioned the importance of training, bringing up the Little Rock police officers’ use of their Emergency Casualty Care training to apply five tourniquets and one chest seal bandage after the Power Ultra Lounge mass shooting.
“Our officers here in Little Rock turned what could have been a mass killing tragedy into a crime scene by saving those lives,” she said. “So we can’t thank our officers enough.”