Crime Rate Drops in Fort Smith

The Fort Smith Police Department released new crime statistics this week. Investigators say the numbers show overall criminal activity is down in the city over the past three years.

Pharmacist Jeff Fenwick says National Family Pharmacy had at least half a dozen break-ins in a three year time span. “Every single person that’s ever broken into this pharmacy has been caught,” said Fenwick.

Fenwick installed security cameras and smash proof glass because of the burglaries. He says police arrested two people. “Yes, the crime is down in this area as far as I’m concerned and for us personally here at National Pharmacy it’s been nonexistent for the last year, year and a half,” said Fenwick.

In 2010 the Fort Smith Police Department reported between 6,100 and 6,200 criminal incidents. In 2011 the number dropped to about 5,600. Last year the department saw a small increase and reported approximately 5,800 incidents.

“It’s amazing how many of these crimes are centered around drug activity,” said Sgt. Daniel Grubbs.

Fort Smith police have units that focus on gangs and drugs. The department says Crime Stoppers also helps. “There’s no doubt we do see a high benefit from that because of the added exposure,” said Sgt. Grubbs.

Police say the number of murders is up. From 2009 to 2011 the city worked five homicides. In 2012 Fort Smith officers investigated seven murders. “Everybody that was involved knew each other,” said Sgt. Grubbs.

Police and businesses encourage people to report anything suspicious. “If you see something let’s get involved, let’s try to take care of our neighborhood and our community and let’s get police involved,” said Fenwick.

Sgt. Grubbs says officers are also working hard to solve property crimes.