U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions made two stops in Arkansas on Wednesday to highlight school safety and the impact of career criminals.
Sessions visited Lake Hamilton High School in Pearcy to join a roundtable on school safety at the school district. During his discussion, he emphasized there is not a single solution to school shootings.
However, Sessions complimented Lake Hamilton School District’s security approach, which he said could serve as a template for other school security plans. Starting in the 1990s, the school district began keeping firearms on the school campus that are accessible to security officers and administrators.
Reporters were escorted out of the high school after Sessions’ opening remarks, although the roundtable was streamed via Youtube.
During an earlier stop in Little Rock, Sessions discussed the need to address a Supreme Court ruling that he believes is affecting the ability of law enforcement agencies to police criminals.
In the 2015 Supreme Court case Johnson v. United States, the court ruled the definition of a violent crime was too vague and was unconstitutional. Sessions argued that striking down the violent felon definition allowed career criminals to return to their communities.
Between 2014 and 2016, violent crime jumped 15 percent in Arkansas according to Sessions. The murder rate increased by 29 percent, while aggravated assault increased by 15 percent.
Despite an increased state-wide violent crime rate, Sessions complimented Arkansas law enforcement agencies for a 60 percent increase in prosecutions. According to Sessions, the increased rate of violent crime mirrors trends across the country.
(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)