Pine Bluff Police have a new tool that is helping them identify violence-prone areas of the city. At a recent meeting of the Pine Bluff City Council’s Public Safety Committee, Assistant Pine Bluff Police Chief Kelvin Sergeant showed off a map depicting an area between Main Street and Cherry Street, from West 22nd Avenue to West 30th Avenue, as the city’s major “hot spot” for crime between January and mid-July.
In addition to the map, police are also working on a chart breaking down the number of calls for service for the city by day and by hour. Sergeant said that there are three apartment complexes in the targeted area where officers have been called to reports of drive-by shootings, aggravated assaults and other crimes against persons.
“This gives us an area that officers assigned to the Violent Crimes Task Force need to focus on,” he said.
Within this eight-block area from north to south and 11-block area from east to west, three of the cities’ 15 homicides have been reported, while two others were only a short distance away.
Specifically:The Jan. 4 shooting death of Marcus Washington, 27, whose body was found in the driver’s seat of a vehicle at 1806 W. 29th Ave. Police have charged Johnnie Donson, 18, Joshua Donson, 20, and Dantevonne Tatum, 16, with capital murder.The Feb. 18 shooting death of Willie Baines, 30, whose body was found in the driver’s seat of a car at 24th Avenue and Poplar Street. He died at a Little Rock hospital and no arrests have been made in that case.The March 18 shooting death of David Ibemesi, 30, whose body was found in a car that had hit a house at 2719 Cherry Street. Kuro’N Brown, 17, Gujuan Christmas, 21, and Reginald Henderson, 23, have been charged with capital murder in that case.The May 12 shooting death of Gregory Christoper, 31, whose body was found in a vehicle in front of the Beech Street Apartments at 26th Avenue and Beech Street. No arrests have been made in that case.The June 2 beating death of Henry L. Johnson Jr., 57, who died at a Little Rock hospital. Allen Claggett, 43, was arrested and is facing charges in that case.
The current map is far different from maps produced a few years ago, which showed hot spots in the extreme southeastern part of Pine Bluff in the Dollarway area and in the University Park area. The most recent crime statistics for June showed that overall crime is down 22.17 percent from June 2016, and reported aggravated assaults, simple assaults, rapes and attempted rapes are declined when compared to a year ago.
Sergeant said information on the map, which was prepared by Matthew Pate, is also shared with the department’s other divisions, such as patrol, detectives, vice and narcotics. Regarding the day and hour breakdown, the chart showed that police received more crimes against persons calls on Sunday and Monday than on any other days of the week.
Between January and June, there were an average of 193 calls on Sunday and 183 on Monday. Thursday had the fewest average calls with 151, followed by an average of 165 on Friday.
As far as the time of the incidents, officers were more likely to be called at 8 p.m. on Sunday than at any other time that day, as there was an average of 15 calls during that hour. The next closest time was 2 a.m., with an average of 13, then 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., which averaged 12 calls each. The highest number of calls reporting crimes against persons was 17 between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Monday, 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday and 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Wednesday.