- Associated Press - Monday, March 24, 2014

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The number of homicides in Arkansas’ capital is almost triple what it was this time last year, but the city’s police chief says there shouldn’t be cause for alarm.

Eleven homicides have been recorded in Little Rock from January to March 12th, compared to four slayings by this time last year, according to the police department’s spokesman Lt. Sidney Allen.

Police Chief Stuart Thomas says the current rate shouldn’t spark alarm, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1lgKagQ) reported Monday.

“For whatever reason, you get stretches like this. Unfortunately, it gets busy,” Thomas said. “Last year, we did have some (homicides) that are connected, but not enough to correspond to the increase we have seen this year.”

Police say killings often are blamed on someone the victim knew, and homicide rates often fluctuate monthly.

Six killings were reported in a 17-day period in January 2011, making it the deadliest month of that year. But the next year, the highest number of homicides in one month was in July, with 11 deaths.

In January 2013, only one killing was reported from Jan. 31 to April 10, according to police.

While February is usually the slowest month for homicides, the newspaper reported, Little Rock police received four homicide cases last month.

“We’re not going to comment on numbers, because as soon as we say anything, who knows what will happen,” Allen said. “They’re high right now, but that doesn’t mean they can’t drop before the end of the year.”

Total homicide numbers in Little Rock have steadily declined after reaching 76 about a decade ago. The lowest recent number was 28, and in 2013, there were 36.


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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