More than a year ago, the Hot Springs Police Department joined with local, state, and federal partners to address the violent crime in our community. This partnership has included the 18th Judicial District East Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, the US Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Arkansas, the Garland County Sheriff’s Office, the 18th Judicial District East Drug Task Force, the Arkansas State Police, and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms. It has been part of an on-going operation to unite resources for investigations, patrol efforts, and community safety strategies.
These agencies, working in conjunction, have effected 43 arrests involving violent crimes. These arrests have resulted in numerous convictions on both a state and federal level with
several prosecutions still on-going. So far, these convictions have resulted in 50 years of state and federal incarceration time combined.
The arrests resulted in the seizure of 55 firearms and a large quantity of illegal narcotics, to include marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, ecstasy, and prescription opioids.
In the Hot Springs Police Department’s Strategic Plan and the Violent Crime Reduction Strategy, a reduction in violent crime and gun-related violence were identified as areas of concern. Therefore, an emphasis has been placed on addressing these types of incidents. The strategies to address these issues included a federal/state prosecution agreement that includes a dedicated state attorney, who is stationed in Hot Springs, to work in cooperation with the U.S. Attorney of the Western District. To date, the Garland County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is the only prosecutor’s office in the Western District of Arkansas to created this arrangement. Additionally, this strategy spawned the creation of a Violent Crime Task Force including a partnership between local, state, and federal agencies to address violent crime in the Hot Springs area. This task force continues to collaborate on ways to reduce the overall violent crime trends of the community and places a priority on the safety of the citizens and visitors of the community.
“Prosecuting violent criminal cases is one of the most important duties for the United States Attorney’s Office,” said US Attorney David Clay Fowlkes. “We are proud to join with our partners in this endeavor to address violent crime and improve the safety of our communities. We look forward to leveraging our federal resources to prosecute armed, violent criminals and to seek the kinds of lengthy prison sentences that will send a message to others that this kind of criminal conduct will not be tolerated in the Western District of Arkansas.”
*Due to Covid-19 restrictions, several pending cases have been postponed and sentencing dates have been extended.