(Editor's Note: Each year, Arkansas Business partners with the Arkansas Municipal League to present the Trendsetter City awards, which recognize exceptional initiatives underway in municipalities across the state. Large, medium and small-sized cities were honored in six categories: Diversity and Inclusion; Education/Workforce Development; Infrastructure and Water; Public Works/Environmental and Green Management; Technology and Security; and Tourism Development/Creative Culture. Below is one winner's story. For more, click here.)
Technology and Security
Honorable Mention • 20,000 or Greater
Mayor: Harold Copenhaver
While Jonesboro has not seen a significant rise in crime rates during the past decade, its population has grown by 15% in that stretch and its land area has grown to 82 square miles, larger than St. Louis or Cincinnati. This growth requires a dedication to cutting-edge technology, constant training for all emergency first responders and a keen vision for infrastructure in order to keep the city safe from crime and provide prompt response to fires, health crises and other emergencies.
Each of Jonesboro’s 26 banks supported the Real Time Crime Center with donations totaling $500,000. Grant money is being sought to expand the program.
Jonesboro launched the state’s first Real Time Crime Center (RTCC) in early 2021 and an expansion began that will also serve nearby partner cities. For police purposes and traffic monitoring and control, the city has 471 camera locations. The RTCC identifies auto accidents, spots perpetrators in the act and provides video to aid in capturing criminals or determining fault in an accident. Upgrades to the 911 center, the Citizens Police Academy, new fire department technologies, a state police bomb squad truck and more contribute to Jonesboro’s safety.