As violent crime increases across the state, the FBI is working to make Arkansas a safer place to live.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Solving violent crime has never been an easy task, but in Central Arkansas, the FBI is heavily involved in that process.
“These last few years have been a challenging environment,” Special Agent in Charge James Dawson said.
The FBI division in Little Rock has had a busy summer— it’s been filled with progress though.
“Then you look at what the field office as a whole, what was achieved by the FBI, or scored by the FBI, throughout the year,” Dawson said. “It’s probably closer to 400 arrests out of that 6,000.”
Nationwide, the FBI made violent crime a priority this summer and said in a tweet that they made arrests in 5,980 violent crime, gang, and narcotics cases.
Along with those arrests, 2,728 guns were taken off the streets and 845 gangs were disrupted.
Meanwhile, in Arkansas Dawson said that they made progress above other areas of the country.
“This is an environment in which the FBI has been very active compared to other jurisdictions around the United States,” he said.
Those 400 arrests made up a large piece of what the FBI accomplished this summer.
“We’re talking six and a half, seven percent were achieved here in the state of Arkansas,” Dawson elaborated.
That doesn’t mean issues can’t still pop up. Just about a month ago, Central Arkansas saw a weekend filled with violent shootings.
Figuring out what happened took a lot of different agencies, including the FBI. While that weekend has passed, the issues have not.
“Anything that we can do as a community to dissuade that and to overcome that is really going to be important,” Dawson said.
While we may not be quite where he’d like us to be, Dawson said that they’re making headway.
“I don’t know that really, we’re where we need to be, which is seeing a precipitous decline in criminal activity, or violent criminal activity in our metropolitan areas,” he said. “But I don’t believe we’re losing any ground at this point.”
Much of the violent crime is addressed by the GETROCK task force, the gang enforcement task force at the Little Rock Bureau of the FBI.
Dawson said that within the past two years, they’ve made hundreds of arrests, removed hundreds of guns from the streets, and confiscated more than 500 pounds of narcotics.