Top developer calls out city over “crime crisis” in Jonesboro

JONESBORO, Ark. – Even from atop an ivory tower, evidence of Jonesboro’s rampant crime problem is becoming undeniable for some.

Regional developer Josh Brown, principal at Haag-Brown Commercial Real Estate, opened many eyes last week with a fiery Facebook commentary on Jonesboro’s crime woes.

I try to be the loudest cheerleader for quality of life projects and for our city to spend money on things that make Jonesboro a more fun place to live. BUT, none of that matters if we aren’t safe. Maybe the city should declare that we have a crime crisis in our city. Then dedicate all resources towards fixing it. Whatever it takes needs to be done. Everyone’s focus should be on stopping the shootings, the armed robberies, and the home invasions. Someone in my family had a serious home invasion / burglary several weeks ago. There were so many others that it didn’t get any serious attention from the police department or even rank very high on the crimes reports for the local media. This was neither the police department or the media’s fault. There are simply too many serious crimes occurring. If we do not turn this in the right direction, we do not have to worry about running paths, biking trails, water parks, or new places to eat and shop. We will begin to lose what we already have. – Brown wrote on Thursday in a public Facebook post.

As recently as last year, a city press release touted Jonesboro as a city seeing progress in crime reduction. The truth about Jonesboro’s crime rate is that it is worse than 80-percent or more of cities, according to a series of studies and reports we cataloged here. The crime rate in Jonesboro fell slower over the past ten years than crime in Detroit or Memphis. AreaVibes rated Jonesboro at safer than 13-percent of cities. rated Jonesboro at 5/100.

Prosecutor Scott Ellington and Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott announced an organized crime task force to address problems with gang crime. This came after the first two days of 2019 began with three shootings in Jonesboro, two of which were fatal.

However, a report in Sunday’s edition of The Jonesboro Sun stated that the task force is “nothing new.”

Developer Brown’s post was made on the morning of a home invasion where a family was held at gunpoint. A gun was placed to a child’s head in the incident. Police have made no arrests in the case to this day. It struck a cord with the regional developer behind such Jonesboro projects as Tacos 4 Life, Starbucks, and many, many more businesses. Brown wrote that his family had been victimized similarly, recently. It didn’t even make headlines, he wrote, because of all the other serious crime.

“Maybe the city should declare that we have a crime crisis in our city,” said Brown.

At the January 3 Jonesboro City Council meeting, Mayor Harold Perrin made this statement about the crimes that have kicked off 2019.

“My thoughts, first and foremost, are with the families. Innocent loved ones are always impacted by the actions of those who engage in illegal activity, and that is a tragedy. But, my concern, too, is with the God-loving hearts in this community. This was an act of evil, and the city is filled with too much love to let evil prevail. I am grateful to the dedicated officers of the JPD and all our first responders. There is no place in our city for gangs or the violence that they bring. I am confident and appreciative that we have the leaders, both within our police force and our community at large, to prevent this violence from escalating in our wonderful city.” – Harold Perrin, Jonesboro Mayor


  1. The crime has always been in Jonesboro. It has just been swept under the rug. Away from public eyes so the illusion of living in a safe community can be maintained. Its really what the press don’t know about means what the public don’t know about.

  2. Mayor Perrin is only concerned about building his legacy which is trying to turn an industrial/farming community into a big metropolitan utopian city like New York where everyone walks and rides bikes or uses a bus system like Jets “which has never made a profit” but I think former Mayor Doug Foreman started that crap, correct me if I’m wrong. Also Perrin is always begging for federal money “embarrassing” and loves tax increases, says we gotta be more like Fayetteville “hahaha, never gonna happen”…#repealperrin2019

  3. The “ivory tower” folks are 100% correct. Jonesboro has become a cesspool of crime. Someone said that “crime has always been here, it’s just been swept under the rug”….but that’s not really true. Sure, there has been crime, but you always knew where it was and if it got out of hand, you could knock it down or back to where it belonged…everyone knew that there were parts of town that people don’t go unless they were looking for drugs, booze, or trouble. Those were contained. all the houses on Race street were decent, middle class homes, and the neighborhood was decent – doctors, lawyers, etc..lived there. Nettleton wasn’t a hood school like it is now. Face it, truth is truth and facts are facts. The changing demographics of Jonesboro has led to it’s current state. Everyone knew that the city of Jonesboro was ran and operated by a select “few” that kept crime and those who committed it where they belonged. JPD would never allow the type of crap that is going on now to occur, they were too ruthless and effective on keeping Jonesboro “clean” of a certain element. Now, we have that element on the force, in the counsels, etc. Jonesboro has even caused neighboring towns to become like them…look at Brookland, Valley View, Paragould – all POS cities and towns. It used to be you’d run down to Trumann or Newport if you wanted to get into trouble, now it’s everywhere. Jonesboro will be another West Memphis before long…well on it’s way. Murders, rapes, shootings, burglaries, kidnappings, etc…used to be unheard of…now it’s just another day in Jonesboro.

  4. The sad part is the city isn’t doing anything about it.I think they don’t give a shit or have the training for it but they’ll sure take your money.

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