Amid the recent crimes in the city, experts discuss data and trends surrounding crime in Little Rock, as well as how to find solutions.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — People in Little Rock have been no stranger to the recent crimes that have happened across the city. One local man has made it his life to study crime and help find solutions.
Statistics are Edmond Davis’ world.
“I was the former director of the Derek Olivier Research Institute for the prevention of gun violence at Arkansas Baptist College,” Davis said.
That institute focuses on violent crime statistics, and what that looks like. Davis saw a lot of that when he was director, including the 15 shootings that happened this past weekend.
While he’s not the director anymore, he mentioned that he knows trends when he sees them.
“Historically speaking, it compares to 1993,” Davis added.
If you’ve lived in Little Rock long enough, then you’d know that the early 90’s had some significance – many people remember that time as some of the worst crimes in Little Rock’s history.
Davis added that statistically speaking, we’re heading in that direction once again.
“And so looking back at that year, I believe the number was 76 homicides that year if my record serves me correct,” Davis said. “Right now, the trajectory says that we’re on track to surpass that.”
According to data from the Little Rock Police Department, the city is at 51 homicides for the year through August 15 – which can be compared to 41 at the same time in 2021.
Data from the FBI on violent crimes is up to date through 2020 but showed Arkansas as a whole trending upwards, in contrast to the United States as a whole.
“Again, we’re looking at every 4.4 days here in Little Rock, we have a homicide,” Davis said. “That’s what the data says, I just looked at it before you walked in thinking, ‘man, this is crazy.'”
Davis added that solving violent crime isn’t easy, and data has shown that it’s been a problem that goes back decades.
“I would say to Americans and to Little Rock, we have to be honest about who we are, where we want to go, and again, everybody has to come to the table,” Davis said. “And so, to address the whole wraparound system, if we want to talk about seeking solutions, whether it’s from a historical standpoint, from the academic standpoint or the financial standpoint.”
He also said there is something that can help – and anything that can be done would be a step in the right direction.
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