Private colleges ask lawmakers to allow police dept. on campus - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Private colleges ask lawmakers to allow police department on campus

Posted: Updated:

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - Curtis Johnson grew up in Little Rock. He remembers learning how to drive on 16th street. Now, Johnson is chief of security at Arkansas Baptist College.

"For me to be able to come back home after all the years I've been away and to be able to impact this neighborhood for the betterment is a blessing," saidJohnson.

Everyone on campus knows the security chief. Students feel safer when he's around, but there's only so much he can do. He can't make an arrest or even patrol the neighborhood across the street. Arkansas law doesn't allow private schools to operate police departments, and Johnson believes criminals take advantage of that.

"I get the drug houses and I get a bunch of other activity, gang activity, throughout the neighborhood because there's no one there to police it," said Johnson.

Through Johnson's efforts crime on campus has dropped 70 percent, but it wasn't enough to save the life of one the kids he protected. Derek Olivier, 19, was shot dead last year.

"It's always going to be imbedded in the back of my mind, that baby laying on the ground bleeding to death, and there's nothing I could do to help him," remembered Johnson.

However, he believes there is something lawmakers can do. He asked for a police force during the 88th General Assembly but the bill died in a senate committee.

"In the process, I lose a student, haggling over words when we should have done the best thing we possibly could which is giving the best protection that we could," said Johnson.

He was back at the capitol Thursday pleading his case once again.

"It's a challenge that I'm giving them. Can you deal with another student that's lying dead on the sidewalk in the middle of the city. We're 8 blocks from the state capitol. that's an indictment," said Johnson.

The bill passed the House Education Committee with a unanimous vote.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Police warn parents about criminal consequences of kids "sexting"

    Police warn parents about criminal consequences of kids "sexting"

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:09 PM EDT2014-04-23 03:09:53 GMT
    JACKSONVILLE (KATV) - Hormones run rampant in teens – it’s why the concept of sending lewd photos to one another seems so natural to them. But do they know that doing that can land them in some hot water?  More >>
    JACKSONVILLE (KATV) - Hormones run rampant in teens – it’s why the concept of sending lewd photos to one another seems so natural to them. But do they know that doing that can land them in some hot water?  More >>
  • Stolen Home

    Stolen Home

    Stolen Home

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 8:14 PM EDT2014-04-23 00:14:57 GMT

    One Lonoke County woman's dream of home ownership didn't last long.  She is facing eviction amidst allegations that her home is stolen.

    More >>

    One Lonoke County woman's dream of home ownership didn't last long.  She is facing eviction amidst allegations that her home is stolen.

    More >>
  • Update: Murder suspect turns himself in to LRPD

    Update: Murder suspect turns himself in to LRPD

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:52 PM EDT2014-04-23 02:52:02 GMT
    (KATV)-The Little Rock Police Department are looking for a man they say is a suspect in a homicide that occurred Monday night. Police say Bernard Sherrod, 20, was found shot outside of his apartment complex on Bryant street. "After detectives talked to the witnesses that were around there, they were able to develop Mr. [Darrell] Freeman as a suspect," said Lt. Sidney Allen of the LRPD.Police are considering Freeman to be armed and dangerous."Well right now they have a pretty good idea of who ...More >>
    (KATV)-The Little Rock Police Department are looking for a man they say is a suspect in a homicide that occurred Monday night. Police say Bernard Sherrod, 20, was found shot outside of his apartment complex on Bryant street. "After detectives talked to the witnesses that were around there, they were able to develop Mr. [Darrell] Freeman as a suspect," said Lt. Sidney Allen of the LRPD.Police are considering Freeman to be armed and dangerous."Well right now they have a pretty good idea of who ...More >>