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Keith Humphrey gives final public safety update ahead of retirement

Little Rock police chief, Keith Humphrey shared he'll be stepping down May 20. Ahead of his retirement, he gave his final public safety address for the city.

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Last week, Little Rock Police Chief, Keith Humphrey announced that he will be stepping down from the department on May 20. 

Ahead of his nearing retirement, Humphrey gave his final public safety address for the city alongside Mayor Frank Scott Jr.

He was one of 25 in attendance for the Chiefs of Police Executive Forum on Gun Crime Intelligence--this was held at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives headquarters in Washington D.C. last week. 

"We continue to do our part in combatting violent crimes in guns. I wish people could see the conversations that we have behind the scenes regarding how much we care about this city and what we can do to keep this city safe," said Humphrey.

That effort is seen day to day but becomes more evident when you look at the bigger numbers. Within one month from March to April, there have been: 

  • Over 77 arrests. 
  • 102 felony charges.
  • 38 misdemeanors. 
  • 54 warrants served. 
  • $3,045 worth of seized firearms.  

Mayor Frank Scott Jr. said that although the city's violent crime is currently higher than it was a year ago, crime is actually beginning to trend downwards. 

It's gone from 26% at the beginning of the year, to now only 5%. Humphrey said this drop is due to the department's Street Crimes Unit cracking down on crime. 

Their efforts are also being seen and when you compare the numbers, you can see why it's even more important this year. 

This time last year, there were 21 homicides in the city. 

Currently, there are 31 homicides in the Little Rock. 

"We understand that crime and gun violence are on the increase nationally. Just yesterday, the CDC reported that gun homicides were higher than they had been in a quarter century," Mayor Scott said. "When I say public safety is a priority for every city employee, I mean it." 

Chief Humphrey said that it's simple disagreements leading to the deaths of Little Rock citizens. He emphasizes the importance of people understanding that they have to learn how to walk away from situations. 

"I can't stress enough-- you all have heard me say this over and over again. We have to realize we have to figure out a way to help people understand to agree to disagree," said Humphrey. 

Assistant Chief Crystal Young-Haskins said the department is doing their part, but they're going to need the community's help if the city wants to see progress. 

"We cannot be everywhere and so our officers are working really hard. We're asking them to do a lot more than we've ever asked them to do," said Haskins.

Ahead of the summer months where violent crime tends to trend upwards, city officials said they're always preparing for those situations.