CITIZEN CALL TO ACTION: Mayor Frank Scott Jr. addresses press about the resources available for victims of domestic violence and encourages Little Rock residents to speak up about domestic violence in their communities. KARK

In a press conference at the Little Rock Police Department headquarters on Wednesday afternoon, Assistant Chief Wayne Bewley and Mayor Frank Scott Jr. said that five of the nine homicides in January have been domestic violence related. They shared resources for victims of domestic violence and encouraged Little Rock residents to “see something, say something” in order to prevent more domestic violence and deaths. Scott also said that he would announce the top 10 candidates for LRPD police chief Jan. 31.

“This is different than a lot of the trends we have seen in the past where [the homicides are] retaliatory, whether it’s gang related or some type of disturbance or dispute that causes back and forth, retaliatory type violence,” Bewley said. “This different. It often occurs in people’s homes, and it makes it difficult for us to control and prevent, so that’s why we’re highlighting this from a domestic violence standpoint and encouraging people to reach out to the numbers we provided, from either the domestic violence hotline or the victim services program.”

Bewley said victims can call the Women and Children First 24-hour crisis hotline at 1-800-332-4443 or 501-376-3219 to speak to a crisis intervention specialist and receive counseling services and emergency shelter information. Little Rock residents can also call the LRPD’s Victim Services Unit, operated by city employees out of the Major Crimes Division, at 501-371-HELP. He added that all domestic violence reports taken by officers in Little Rock are routed to the Victim Services Program and followed up on within 24-72 hours to provide resources and services to victims.

“I think it would be remiss of us not to mention [that] we recognize that many domestic violence victims are reluctant to come forward, so our call to action to the public is if you see something, say something,” Bewley said. “If you are aware of anyone in the city that is a victim of domestic violence, [or] have information about this, you can also reach out to the domestic violence hotline or to our victims services program.”

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In addition to the five domestic violence-related homicides, Bewley also said that three of January’s nine homicides are disturbance related, and of those three homicides, two involved victims and suspects who knew each other.

The single other homicide in January, according to Bewley, occurred on Jan. 16 at 5202 West 29th St., and the LRPD has no suspect information about this incident. The LRPD is asking the public to call the Major Crimes division (501-371-4660) or the Crime Stoppers Hotline (501-371-INFO) with information about the suspect. Bewley said there is a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect in this case.

Scott also spoke and expressed “deep concern and thoughts and prayers and condolences” to the victims and families of the nine homicides and 10 criminal related deaths. He thanked the LRPD for its service to the city and said Little Rock residents should use the domestic violence hotline and Victim Services Program to be “preventive rather than reactive” in cases of domestic violence.

“We all play a role in crime and crime prevention in our city,” Scott said. “How do we work with that? That’s to see something, say something. We all have experienced someone that may have [experienced] domestic violence, we all could play a role in making certain that we share things with other people before it even got to a point like that.”

Tomorrow Scott will announce his list of the top 10 candidates for LRPD police chief. Those 10 will be narrowed down to 3-5 candidates and then a community forum process will be instituted because “we think it is of the utmost importance that the community plays a large role in the next police chief,” according to Scott.

Asked if he has a set deadline by which the new police chief will be decided, Scott replied, “We’ll be acting with deliberate haste.” 

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