LRPD To Improve Communication Between Detectives & Families Affected by Homicide

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - As each second passes, the New Year gets closer with an opportunity to set new goals.

"We can improve that quite a bit," says Little Rock Police Captain Russell King.

Captain King is the Commander over Major Crimes. He says he's working on a plan to improve communication between homicide victims' families and the investigator working their loved one's case.

"In the initial stages of an incident the family will be made aware of the services available. However, we want to continue that follow up and follow through with them," says Captain King.

Captain King says the plan is a work in progress but it could be something over the phone, maybe even web based.

On Monday, two families of unsolved homicides in Little Rock complained the communication with the assigned detective is poor.

Out of the 48 homicides so far in Little Rock this year, 24 are unsolved.

Since January 1, five homicide detectives have left the unit out of a seven man squad. There's currently one vacancy.

Little Rock Police officials say the reason detectives left this year vary, from promotions to retirement.

"Their phone is ringing and ringing and it's that traumatized survivor," says Parents of Murdered Children Spokesperson Amy Stivers.

Stivers says having an open line of communication can help crack a case.

"When the police officers aren't responding or talking to the survivors or the victim's family it makes things very difficult," says Stivers.

2017 is ticking down but goals for 2018 are just about to kick off.

"There's always opportunity to improve," says Captain King. "We think public trust is a component of improving that willingness from the public to share information with us to assist us in this investigative process."

Captain King has been overseeing Major Crimes since September and he just brought in a new homicide Lieutenant last month.

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