Little Rock, Ark. (KTHV) - The Little Rock Police Department is making sure it starts 2018 off right when it comes to crime in your neighborhood to make sure they don't see the 53 homicides they saw in 2017.
The Little Rock Police Department said they want to head into the new year strong.
Chief Kenton Buckner said they have new goals, new programs, and over fifty new officers.
“Obviously we'll be continuing with the starting of the 12-hour schedules to see if we can have the same increased visibility footprint with the officers without doing overtime,” he said.
He said they'll be focusing on issues that lead to their homicides, like domestic violence.
“We've increased our victim services unit from three to five. We have two extra individuals that are coming on board; the first one is a Spanish speaker and the other one will be solely focused on domestic violence,” he said.
The department is also starting a new task force.
“One of the things we're going to start is a gun crime unit grant from the Department of Justice that will give us the ability to do a link analysis with gun crimes and the offenders associated with them,” he said.
He said they want to continue to grow their social media platforms. The department reached 30,000 people in 2017 on Facebook and they hope to reach 40,000 people in 2018.
“Some of the pictures you see for the robbery suspects, a lot of our success has come from putting out those pictures and getting arrest as a result of the community helping us,” he said.
He feels engaging the community helps prevent and solves crimes.
The Little Rock Police Department has added more than dozen neighborhood crime watch groups. Spring Valley Manor is one of the neighborhoods added to the watch groups in 2017.
President Jena McDonnell said pairing with the police department keeps them connected and helps the department solve crimes faster.
“We had some break-ins, we had a car stolen from a driveway so we decided to get proactive and informed,” she said.
There are still several homicides from 2017 the department is working on. Chief Buckner said they're doing everything they can to make sure the families get their justice.