Paragould Named Safest City - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Paragould, AR

Paragould Named Safest City

Paragould's mayor, Mike Gaskill, was pleasantly surprised at the results of this years Uniform Crime Report.

"It's always been good in Paragould but for it to come back this good tells people Paragould is a safe place to live."

Based on eight categories of crime Paragould was ranked as the safest city in Arkansas.
Kaye Rogers lives and works in Paragould.  She says this helps her sleep a little better at night.

"I'm not one to lay awake and worry but I think Paragould is a lot safer than it was even ten to fifteen years ago."

Officials say part of the 50% decrease in crime is because more officers are on the street.  Last year the city passed a sales tax adding ten new officers to the force.

They say that's helped to bring the crime rate from 38 incidents per thousand people in 2001, to 15.3 per thousand in 2002.

Sue McGowan of the Chamber of Commerce says this is good for business.

"When new industry visits our community one of the primary questions they ask is what is your crime rate because that's important to them."

Paragould chief of police, J.D. Stephenson, says bringing down crime rates is an ongoing task.  With six months into the year, Chief Stephenson says they're on track to do even better in the future.

"You have to do it day after day and that's why they're being successful, I think we will do better next year."

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