Local officials consider federal crime program

Scott Ellington (Source: KAIT-TV)
Scott Ellington (Source: KAIT-TV)

(KAIT) - A six-year federal crime reduction program in West Memphis is catching attention from local officials and may be implemented in parts of Region 8.

It's called the Violence Reduction Network, and officials said there has been a decrease in violent crimes since the program started in West Memphis.

It's a public safety partnership between police departments and several federal government agencies. including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and more.

Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington noticed the improvements and thinks it could be beneficial for areas like Blytheville.

The purpose is to bring in more resources and new ideas on how to cut down on the amount of violence within city limits.

"I would appreciate the feds coming in and offering assistance with sending maybe more officers to trainings and maybe sending some trainers down to train the whole police department and also in recruiting and bringing in some things like that as well," Ellington said. "I don't know what they would have to offer to a smaller department yet, I'm just asking them to come in and look and evaluate."

Ellington met with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions while he was in Little Rock last week.

And after complimenting the effort in West Memphis, Ellington requested that Blytheville be considered next.

It hasn't been decided yet, but Ellington hopes it's the key to making communities safer.

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