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Conway responds to spike in homicides

After a recent double homicide and several murders last year, the city of Conway has been working to support its police staff to help keep people safe.

CONWAY, Ark. — After a double homicide this weekend— and 7 murders in Conway last year, the city has been working to support its police staff to help keep the city safe.

Conway Mayor, Bart Castleberry, explained that the city is still a safe place to be. The rise in some crime and strain on police staffing has been an issue that's not unique to Conway.

To combat that nationwide trend, the city has focused on supporting its police department. Conway raised police salaries this year.

In just the first few weeks the department explained that they've already seen more recruits apply— and veteran officers delay retirement.

Mayor Castleberry hopes the push will help make people feel and stay, safe in Conway.

"[The higher salaries] will also allow us to step up and put our Crime Suppression Unit back into operation which their focus will be crime and Conway. So we are addressing it. And hopefully, we're going to have some good outcomes here," Castleberry described.

When asked about the start date for the Crime Suppression Unit, Conway Police Chief, William Tapley sent in a statement, "As we are able to fill open positions, we will be able to reinstate the Crime Suppression Unit. It is a priority for the Conway Police Department, and we are actively working to achieve that goal."

The Conway Police Department said they've also started working more closely with mental health officers for some calls.

Additionally, the city has said that in most of the recent homicides, the victim knew the attacker.

Police have arrested two suspects involved in this weekend's homicides, both charged with Capital Murder. 

"Our officers have been working around the clock to identify those involved in this incident. We will continue to work this investigation until all involved parties have been apprehended," Tapley added.

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