KARK/Fox 16's Mitchell McCoy took a look last night
at Little Rock Police Department expenditures at homicide detective overtime pay and noted a recent increase in unsolved cases against a drop in overtime pay expenditures for major crimes detectives.
Overtime pay has dropped from $363,750 in 2013 to $244,580 in 2016. In 2016, about half of the 42 homicides remain unsolved. In 2014, the report noted, 41 of 42 were solved.
This is a long way from enough information to draw solid conclusions. The police force generally is short on manpower for a variety of reasons — lack of recruits, competition and other factors. And, as Lt. Steve McClanahan notes:
"Many times, these cases have nothing to do with how much money in overtime we're paying. Sometimes you just have to catch a good break," says Lt. McClanahan.
It is hard, as recent events show, to run down the person who fired a random gunshot that killed a child.
Nonetheless, there are 67 vacancies at LRPD.
The first homicide of 2017, by the way, is so far unsolved. Police believe, however, that a man found shot to death Sunday night near 34th and Martin Luther King is believed to be a victim of gang disputes, fueled by social media comments.
Little Rock's homicide toll in 2016, for the record, was well short of tolls in the 60s in the early 1990s.