LITTLE ROCK, AR (WMC) - Memphis Police Department has announced they will be in downtown Little Rock on Wednesday, hoping to snag some of Arkansas' finest to fill positions.
"They're within their rights to do so, but can we compete with the Memphis Police Department?" said Little Rock Police Department Lieutenant Steven McClanahan. "You do see other agencies, other jurisdictions come to Little Rock to recruit. We're a big city in the state of Arkansas."
Lt. McClanahan said he sees it as friendly competition.
"We're all looking for qualified applicants to serve our communities and we welcome Memphis here in Little Rock," Lt. McClanahan said.
Arthur Wright, who lives nearby, said his southwest Little Rock neighborhood hasn't always been great the 17 years he's lived here.
"It's been like gang-related incidents," Wright said.
He credits Little Rock Police Department for the recent change.
"The people that used to be up and down the streets, they're no longer up and down the street here anymore," Wright said.
Lt. McClanahan said with his officers working overtime to solve the downtown club shooting and the recent drive-bys, department heads drive as far as Dallas to recruit.
"We're 70 short here at the police department. so, we're trying to recruit," Lt. McClanahan said. "This is a nationwide trend that started after the Dallas Police Department shooting where those officers were shot and killed."
It's a trend he and Wright would like to see end, even if it means stretching beyond the community.
"We don't mind going outside of that as long as they're qualified," Lt. McClanahan said.
"I'm not opposed to it at all," Wright said.
The Memphis police recruitment will be held at the Homewood Suites in downtown Little Rock from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.