Little Rock reports decrease in violent crime; increase in homicides
Little Rock city officials are raising concerns about an increase in homicides. An update on crime was presented by the city's public safety briefing on Wednesday.
In the first half of 2022, Little Rock has seen about a 30% increase in the number of homicides compared to this same point last year. Interim Police Chief Wayne Bewley said the police department is pleased to see its clearance rate increase. According to Statista, a crime is classified as cleared if someone is arrested or charged for the crime.
“We are pleased to say that the clearance rate is 70%. That is well above the national average of around 60%,” Bewley said. “This clearance rate allows us the opportunity to bring closure to the family members of victims.”
Police chief search
The city has received 20 applications for the police chief opening, Mayor Frank Scott Jr. said. A national search is being conducted to fill the position. Bewley said the department and city are doing what they can to help police officers with the transition.
“We’re trying to be responsive to the officers’ request. We’re trying to work through and understand issues that they have,” Bewley said. “He [Scott] has not said ‘no’ to anything that we’ve requested. We’re going to continue with technology and ways to make their job an easier job to perform.”
In May, Police Chief Keith Humphrey announced he was retiring. Prior to that, Humphrey was under an independent review for a police-involved shooting. Assistant Chief Crystal Young-Haskins was named interim chief, but last month announced her resignation to pursue a career opportunity outside of Arkansas.