2019 Jonesboro crime report shows increase in murders, other serious crimes

JONESBORO, Ark. – A lot of information was contained in the Jonesboro Police Department’s annual report for 2019, released on Thursday.

You can download the full report by clicking this link: 2019+Yearly+Report

In overall percentages, 2019 saw a 23-percent jump in crimes against persons, a 100-percent jump in murders with eight arrests (nine victims) compared to four the year before. However, all eight cases were closed.

“Despite uncooperative witnesses, many gang-involved suspects, and tremendous other caseloads, all of these homicides were solved,” wrote Captain Lynn Waterworth, in charge of the Criminal Investigation Division. “The success in solving these cases was not accomplished by any one individual. While not every detective responded to or worked directly on every incident, all of these cases became exemplary displays of teamwork as the others picked up extra case assignments, took calls and assisted in any way possible. Response to those homicide incidents, many other serious violent crimes, and innumerable other investigative calls has been incredible. Whether it’s tromping through the weeds and woods to look for evidence, call outs to look for missing children, or working an aggravated assault, work is being completed efficiently and on time.”

2019 saw a 41-percent increase in rapes, a 2-percent increase in robberies, and a 29-percent increase in aggravated assaults. There was also a 69-percent increase in weapon law violations. An 82-percent drop in arson cases was a positive number along with a 17-percent drop in motor vehicle thefts and a 5-percent drop in burglaries.


Overall arrests were up from 5,418 in 2018 to 5,502 in 2019. But, there were 12 less felony arrests in 2019 than 2018. Men were responsible for roughly two-thirds of crimes committed.


E911 Dispatch received 225,417 calls in 2019, compared to 233,804 in 2018. Roughly the same number off calls for emergencies were made but non-emergency calls showed almost a 5,000 call drop year-over-year.

In overall calls for service from JPD, there were less in 2019 than in 2018. 72,193 calls to police in 2019 was a drop from 73,060 in 2018. More incident reports were filed in 2019, 12,303 compared to 11,638 in 2018. But less warrants were served in 2019 – 7,916, compared to 8,563 in 2018.

The records division processed 12,816 reports in 2019, compared to 11,675 in 2018. Of those, 3,366 accident reports were processed compared to 3,182 the year before.

In the animal control division, there were less barking and bite reports in 2019 compared to 2018. 52 barking complaints were made in 2019, compared to 84 in 2018. 87 bite reports were made compared to 125 in 2018. More animals were sent to rescue centers than before and less were euthanized than the previous year. too. However, adoptions dropped in 2019. 239 were sent to rescues compared to 148 in 2018. 514 were euthanized in 2018, a drop from 629 the previous year. But only 318 were adopted in 2019 compared to 368 in 2018. So, get out there and adopt some furry friends!

Repair costs and routine preventative maintenance for vehicles dropped in 2019, too. $40,209.57 in repairs for 2019 was a major drop from $62,169.77 in 2018.  In routine maintenance, $47,954.03 was spent in 2019 compared to $55,842.11 in 2018.

Professional standards saw more cases in 2019 than 2018. 104 were opened with 102 being closed in 2019, compared to 73 opened and closed in 2018. Despite the increase, there were almost the same number of sustained cases – 53 in 2019, 50 in 2018. More cases were exonerated not-sustained than in the year before.

The Criminal Investigation Division had many more cases assigned and many more cases closed in 2019 compared to 2018. 2,538 were assigned in 2019 compared to 1,876 in 2018. 2,128 cases were closed in 2019 compared to 1,241 in 2018. 83 crime scenes were processed in 2019 compared to 154 in 2018 but more items were processed in the lab – 426 compared to 248 the year before. There were 309 forensic exams by the Internet Crimes Against Children division in 2019 compared to 226 in 2018. 22 tips were received by this department compared to 40 the year before.

$231,307.50 in court fees were collected in 2019, up from $159,580.98 in 2019. Significantly more probationers were added in 2019, up to 8,880 from 5,602 the year before.

The Street Crimes Unit saw a large drop in misdemeanor arrests in 2019, down to 173 from 397 in 2018. The number of felony arrests remained about the same, 482 in 2019 compared to 495 in 2018. However, the SCU seized $272,382 in assets in 2019 compared to $139,531 in 2018. $807,774 in drugs were seized in 2019 compared to $1,096,706 in 2018.

The Second Judicial Drug Task Force made 1,168 arrests in 2019: 145 for marijuana, 23 for crack/cocaine, 339 for meth, 32 for LSD/Ecstasy, 105 for prescription, and 524 for other drug offenses.

There were 3,370 street accidents in 2019 compared to 3,181 in 2018. 12 accidents were fatal in 2019 compared to 11 in 2018. 23,395 traffic stops in 2019 was pretty close to 23,066 in 2018. 169 DWI arrests compared to 172 the year before. There were almost 1,900 more citations written in 2019 than 2018 but there were also more written warnings in 2019 than in 2018.


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