Editor, The Commercial:
Once again the community finds out late that the Department of Correction has an escapee running free. I hear rumors. When escapes happen on the weekend in Pine Bluff, the public is walking around ignorant of the danger.
Days go by without adequate notifications. I live between two institutions of human incarceration and feel a more broad system needs to be implemented.
Businesses should be immediately notified — private and public agencies. Since these events happen late and on weekends someone needs to be able to sound the alarm 24/7.
The telephone system of calling the public should be expanded to city officials. Maybe a system like the emergency outdoor siren system or combining the two.
I know it is distasteful for our image but public safety concerns should be addressed in public not secretly. The city government allocated money to study and promote our city. This money would be better spent on public awareness.
Providing adequate visible/oral communications during emergency conditions (murderer escapes) can help people thinking of moving here. When a lion is roaming the streets, we are the prisoners.
Brainard E. Bivens