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Crime drop in Pine Bluff

With the first half of 2012 over, Pine Bluff police released crime stats, showing a drop in all major crimes except murders.
PINE BLUFF, AR -- With the first half of 2012 over, Pine Bluff police released crime stats, showing a drop in all major crimes except murders.

The low numbers can be seen in assaults, rapes, robberies, burglaries, and thefts.

"I think that a lot of times we don't get the appreciation that my officers deserve," Chief Brenda Davis Jones said.

Chief Brenda Davis Jones credits the decrease to putting more officers on the streets and the change to 12-hour shifts.  The community policing approach, she says, reaches even to the city's youngest. The officers host a summer camp for kids to teach the importance of staying away from drugs and violence.

"Those things are what's going to change our young peoples' minds and in the long run, they say, 'You know what, there's a better way of handling things instead of pulling out a gun," Jones said.

The numbers come as good news at Pop's Barber Shop, where the city is often the topic.

"You see them around. You see them on bike patrol. You see their presence around and it changes a lot of things," Kenneth Williams said.

Kenneth Williams has witnessed a bigger police presence. He hopes the drop in crime will improve the quality of life in the city.

"I got kids here. They go to school here, and I want a safe environment for everyone around here anyway," Williams said.

The chief hopes it changes perceptions.

"So Pine Bluff is safe?" I asked.

"Pine Bluff is safe. The numbers tell you that it is safe," the chief said.

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