LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — So far this year, Little Rock has had 69 homicides— that makes 2022 the second-largest year on record for that kind of crime in the city.
With crime up, the Little Rock Police Department is working to be proactive, and one district is seeing some improvement and giving them hope.
Major Sidney Allen has worked at the Little Rock Police Department since 1990. He said that these high crime rates feel all too familiar.
"It's the same kind of idea. The same people know each other it's just for different reasons at a different time," said Mj. Allen.
He is now in charge of the Southwest Division, and on Thursday night, he hosted a quarterly meeting to let people know what's happening with crime in their area— something that is on the minds of the people who showed up.
"I like to let them know I am concerned about our community," said Nan Howard who lives in southwest Little Rock.
Troy Laha, who is also a resident in the community, said that he's heard his neighbors describe "children breaking and entering carrying guns."
It's an area that typically sees more violent crime than others, but right now they've been seeing progress.
For the first time, we saw the quarterly numbers from July to September in southwest Little Rock— violent crime is down 17% and property crimes are down 5%.
"We know where the areas are focused in southwest, we will put our resources there, and hopefully that officer's presence will deter many of those crimes," said Mj. Allen.
While some, like Troy Laha, still continue to feel unsafe, others have said that they see the improvements.
"They come around our neighborhood more. Makes me feel safer," said Howard about the LRPD.
Despite the quarterly improvement, Little Rock is still one homicide away from tying its record high of 70 killings in 1993.
That is in contrast to the national trend where homicides in major cities are dropping for much of the U.S.