City, school, police leadership discuss ideas to reduce rising juvenile violent crimes in Jonesboro
City leaders met with officials from Jonesboro and Nettleton public schools about how to deal with the recent uptick in violent crime involving juveniles.
The City of Jonesboro posted highlights from Wednesday's meeting at the Municipal Center on their Facebook page which included Mayor Harold Copenhaver and city police officials.
Police had confirmed that most of the recent violent crimes in the city are gang related.
“While our police department is always working with our schools, I want to have an ongoing open dialogue with our school leaders. All our school districts will be included,” Copenhaver said. “The more we share information, the safer we become.”
In 2021, Jonesboro Police reported 7 homicides. Among those victims was a juvenile who was killed earlier in the month. The homicide rate this year is lower compared to the 13 homicides that were reported in 2020. However, authorities said that most of the recent gunfire activity in the city has been caused by a small group of people.
Police Chief Rick Elliot urged school leadership to watch for signs of gang activity and recruitment on their respective campuses.
“Don’t let anyone act like this is new ground,” Police Chief Rick Elliott said. “We’ve always been working to protect and serve our youth, and we want you to know that we are closely involved with youth in school and out. That’s how we solve crimes."
The city said that all agreed that increasing the regularity of conversation between JPD and school administrators is an important step to reducing violent juvenile crime.