Jonesboro police concerned about rising juvenile crime

Concern across the community as new data show juvenile crimes are on the rise.
Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 11:00 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 10, 2023 at 8:24 AM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Concern across the community as new data show juvenile crimes are on the rise.

Chief Rick Elliott calls the trend alarming.

“What’s really concerning is the violent crime that some of these youth are being involved in,” he said.

His officers have responded to several calls each day recently with an increasing amount of those calls involving youth.

According to data provided by the Jonesboro Police Department, 977 juveniles were named suspects in crimes in 2022. That is a 22% increase from 2021.

“Over the past couple of years, we have seen an increase in juvenile crime and the arrest of juveniles,” Elliott said.

The number that concerns Elliott is the number of youth arrested for violent crimes.

According to the report, 76 kids 17 or under were arrested for violent crimes in 2022. That’s an increase of 55% from 2021.

“The number of encounters officers have with these kids, especially the ones with guns, then the intel we are getting from the streets about kids and guns and activities going on associated with it, it’s concerning,” Elliott said

He said recent juvenile arrests, like that of 15-year-old Juan Pasillas who is charged as an adult in a string of shootings, may help stop the crime for now.

JPD also working with community partners to work on a proactive approach.

When asked about spring break concerns with more kids out of school, Elliott said he is concerned, but it is the same concern he has every day.

Elliott added he is working with the prosecutor to be aggressive in stopping youth violent crimes.