The Jonesboro Police Department was awarded a federal Department of Justice grant of more than $90,000 to combat gang-related activity, the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration informed the city Tuesday (Jan. 14).
The grant will be used to hire, train and provide equipment for an additional investigator to work with the Organized Criminal Activity Task Force, according to city of Jonesboro Grants and Community Development Director Regina Burkett, whose office secured the grant.
Police Chief Rick Elliott said the grant is one more resource in driving out gang activity, which has moved from larger cities to mid-size urban areas across the country in recent years as criminals seek new locations where their activities have not traditionally been on the radar.
“We have known and warned that gang activity has come to Jonesboro,” Mayor Harold Perrin said. “When Chief Elliott first expressed this to me, he also told me about steps he was taking to combat this unwelcome element. I thank our police department and our grants department for this grant and other proactive measures, including the SkyCops program that was recently rolled out.”
Elliott said the grant will be well-used in the fight against gang-related crime.
“We will not allow our city to be a comfortable place for those involved in illegal activity,” he said.