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Jonesboro adds first SkyCop to Cedar Heights

Published: Oct. 30, 2019 at 7:26 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The City of Jonesboro announced via Facebook, they would be adding two SkyCops to “hotspots,” in the city limits.

After multiple shootings around the city of Jonesboro, Mayor Harold Perrin announced Sunday on the city’s Facebook page that they would be “installing two SkyCops, in hotspots that have seen the most gun activity.”

The first SkyCop was added Wednesday to Cedar Heights Drive. Chief of Police Rick Elliott says the department will take as many as they can get.

By adding the two SkyCops, the city will be adding a position to the E-911 team to monitor these cameras and respond quickly.

JPD has recently bought 2 SkyCop systems and they’re looking to get as many as they can get.
JPD has recently bought 2 SkyCop systems and they’re looking to get as many as they can get.((Source: KAIT-TV))

Region 8 News went to the streets to see what residents thought about the new plan, and one Jonesboro woman who asked not to be named said she thinks it will make her feel safer.

“It’ll be a great idea, it’s so much going on and we really do need anything as much as possible for our youth around here.”

For those who say the cameras are a waste, Mayor Perrin says it may not stop all the crime, but it will help bring the numbers down.

“I’d rather do something than nothing,” says Mayor Perrin. “As the mayor, I feel for them (residents) just like I would myself. You’ve got 78,000 people out there that you have to be concerned about every day, and we’re going to try everything we can.”

On the Facebook post, Perrin went on to say, “I am proud to have veteran experts in each of our 21 departments. They not only respond promptly but use pro-active strategies to address problems that you as residents often never even hear about. But a problem we are facing right now is as troubling as any I have seen in Jonesboro, and that is gun violence inside our city limits.

“I could point to statistics that tell you this is a national problem, but as your mayor, I want you to know that I could not care less what the national statistics say. I want this to stop in Jonesboro, and I want anyone firing a gun in our city limits caught and brought to justice.”

Jonesboro Police Department met with Skycop officials Wednesday to discuss areas where the SkyCops would benefit the department best, and whether or not they should buy the SkyCops or lease them.

On the low end, one SkyCop has three cameras on them and cost $6,000.

That price can quickly rise if any additional pieces of equipment are added. Kevlar inserts, internal software to check for issues and back-up battery solutions can be added.

Those additions can cost anywhere from $999 to $1,800 each.

Perrin says they plan to install at least an additional 15 SkyCops cameras across the city.

These are the crimes reported to Jonesboro police in August
These are the crimes reported to Jonesboro police in August(JPD RPS)

Elliott says the SkyCops will not replace boots on the ground, but keep the community safer and help JPD catch criminals faster.

He plans on presenting information to the Jonesboro City Council Tuesday and then discussing financing the SkyCops with the city’s finance committee soon thereafter.

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