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Photo | Maya Jackson

Photo | Maya Jackson

Maya Jackson

Maya Jackson

Photo | Maya Jackson

Sebastian Diaz, Columnist

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LITTLE ROCK, AR- Growing concerned with the growing population of homeless people in the Little Rock metro area, the LRPD has issued a request to the state legislature to “relocate” the destitute.

“Our streets are becoming overcrowded,” deputy sheriff Allen Barker said. “We have a place for them to go.”

There have been public outcries due to the increased number of vagabonds. Complaints and threats have been sent to LRPD Headquarters relentlessly over the course of the past month. Carl Hubb, a downtown regular, expressed his dissatisfaction in his city.

“The city is a place for one to enjoy himself,” Hubb said. “How am I going to wine and dine in luxury if at every turn I take there is some guy asking for money because he ‘lost it all?’ No sir, I’m not up for that. Little Rock better do something soon, or else I’m moving to a more upscale, streamlined area.”

City streets have become harder to maintain, with safety standards almost becoming a chore to accomplish. In the mornings, eyewitnesses have reported sleeping bags, cardboard boxes, cigarette boxes and cans of cheap beer “strewn all over the dang place.”

“It’s a problem that we have to fix, I know,” Barker said. “We hope to have the nuisance resolved in the coming weeks. What we proposed to the courts is revolutionary; I don’t think any other city in the country has done it yet. The homeless, the vagabonds, the whatever-you-want-to-call-them, will be sent away to an undisclosed location. Let’s just say that there will be a lot of clouds there. Depending on the person, he or she might be sent to a very hot place–they play with a lot of fire there.”

This method, as coined by Barker and his team, is known as Passing Away, or HB 2349 for legislators. The operation will cost taxpayers $1,576 and will be conducted in a time span of three weeks. Law enforcement officials plan to expand the project to Northwest Arkansas in the fall.

“There are a lot of displaced people here in my city,” Cache waiter Ron Gash said. “One of them, Jeff, comes in here pretty often asking for leftovers, but I was have to tell him, ‘Sorry bud! We don’t give away food!’ I feel bad, but then again, he could always change his situation around for the better. And I mean always. I’m trying to give my customers a good time, but having Jeff come in every single day begging is such a turn off. I’m glad my city is finally taking initiative.”

Voting for the bill will take place next Thursday. HB 2349 currently has a high public approval rating, but police and other city officials will continue lobbying and raising awareness for their cause.

“‘Passing Away’ is our number one priority right now,” Barker said. “The sooner we get Little Rock rid of its illness, the quicker we can restore our fabulous city back to its former glory. When you get sick, you don’t just sit there and whine; you do something about it. The same concept applies here.”

When questioned as to why law enforcement is solely targeting the homeless and ignoring other social welfare problems, Barker was quick point out the inefficiency of focusing on more than one issue.

“I think Little Rock is perfect as is, besides the homeless [people] problem,” Barker said. “I know people are like, ‘We need to help the poor!’, ‘Feed the hungry!’ and ‘Fix the roads!’ but we just don’t have that kind of time. Relocating the homeless is effortless and cheaper; all those other programs require money to bring about change, something we don’t have. No sir, here at the LRPD, we focus on one thing at a time.”

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