Arkansas Police Department uses National Gun Violence Awareness Day to reach out to community

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FORREST CITY, Ark. – The Forrest City Police Department used National Gun Violence Awareness Day to also reach out to the community.

We were there today as Forrest City Police officers got to know those living off this street, an area that has seen gun violence in the last few weeks.

Police Chief Deon Lee says their goal is simple.

“Wanted them to voice their concerns, any issues they are having in the neighborhood,” Lee said.

Wearing orange shirts for National Gun Violence Awareness Day, Lee says his officers wanted to show support for the initiative, as well as educate children about shooting guns in populated areas.

The department used the day as a jumping off point for more community outreach, saying a strong relationship between his team and those in the city is crucial to fighting crime.

“A lot of our crimes that we do solve are solved by our citizens, our good citizens here in Forrest City,” Lee said. “They call in or they see something they say something.”

Lee says so far this year there have been five homicides, much higher than the two or three they usually investigate in an entire year.

“The community is frustrated, and I hear it at my office day in and day out and I want to let them know we’re frustrated also,” Lee said.

He says his department is listening and believes by everyone working together they can make the city a safer place.

The chief is also encouraging people in the city to wear orange over the weekend as well to bring awareness to gun violence.

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