By Ray King

Reported crime in Pine Bluff dropped 3.44 percent in October compared to October 2019, according to the monthly report from the Police Department.

At a meeting of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee Wednesday, Police Chief Kelvin Sergeant said there were 365 crimes reported in October. 13 less than in October 2019 when 378 crimes reported.

Through the first 10 months of 2020, a total of 3,263 crimes were reported. That figure is almost 1,100 fewer than for the same period in 2019 and equates to a 25.18 percent reduction.

Looking at crimes against persons, there were three homicides in October, the same number that were reported in October 2019. To date, there have been 24 homicides and Sergeant said arrests have been made in 17 of those cases. For the first 10 months of 2019, 26 homicides had been reported and there were two more before the end of the year.

There were two reported rapes or attempted rapes in October, one less than in October 2019 and reported robberies dropped from 13 to 6. Thirty-eight aggravated assaults were reported, three more than the 35 in October 2019 and simple assaults increased from 112 to 115.

Both commercial and residential burglaries declined last month compared to October 2019. Five commercial burglaries were reported last month compared to 14 in October 2019 and residential burglaries went from 62 in October 2019 to 32 last month.

Reported thefts increased from 119 in October 2019 to 134 last month while motor vehicle thefts went from 17 in October 2019 to 30 last month.

Sergeant also distributed a separate report showing patrol division activities in October. That report showed officers investigated a total of 144 traffic accidents and issued 85 citations. There were a total of 52 hazardous violations and 181 non-hazardous violations. A total of 117 hazardous warnings and 42non-hazardous warnings were given. A total of 538 traffic stops were made. Twenty-nine vehicles were tagged or towed in October.

Two accidents were the result of DWI’s and both drivers were arrested. Those were the only DWI arrests in October. A total of 56 misdemeanor arrests/citations were made and two felony arrests

The report showed that 961 incident reports were written, and officers answered 3,738 calls for service.

Sergeant also announced that former Deputy Chief Kelvin Hadley was sworn-in Tuesday as Interim Assistant Chief. He fills the position left vacant with the retirement of former Deputy Chief Ricky Whitmore. Deputy Chief Denise Richardson will supervise the Investigations Division and Deputy Chief Billy Elliott will supervise the Patrol Division. Deputy Chief Shirley Warrior will supervise both the Administration and Service Divisions.