Prairie Grove Police Report An Uptick In Crime And Juvenile Arrests

PRAIRIE GROVE, Ark. (KFSM) -- The City of Prairie Grove has grown tremendously over the last few years, and with that population growth there has been an uptick in crime.

With a significant influx of people in a short amount of time, the police department has increased its staff by only 10 percent.

In the last two months, Prairie Grove police officers have arrested 24 juveniles --  a record for the department.

Officers tell 5NEWS the arrests are mainly juveniles committing criminal mischief at night in neighborhoods.

The charges of those arrests range from curfew violations to breaking and entering.

In an effort to alleviate these types of incidents officers are working overtime and are asking for the public's help.

"If you see a child or a young person who seems to be under the age of 18 out at night ... you know if it just doesn't look right.  We ask that you would call us let us know so we can extra patrol the area and maybe help mediate these incidents that are happening," said Prairie Grove Police Captain Jeff O'Brien.

Officers said another way the public can help is locking your vehicles.

O'Brien said in the last two months the vehicles that were broken into were not locked.

The national average for a police department is to have about 3.4 police officers per 1,000 people.  O'Brien said his department averages about half that -- or 1.6 Prairie Grove police officers per 1,000 people.