CONWAY, Ark – The Conway Police Department is reinstating its Crime Suppression Unit thanks to an increase in staff.

The four officers selected for the unit began work Monday with the department’s Criminal Investigations Division, identifying current criminal trends and hot spots in the city.

“Some of the trends that they may see may be reported thefts, vehicle break-ins, and rises in violent crime,” CPD Public Information Officer Lacey Kanipe said.

She said the unit will focus on those trends to help decrease and prevent crime in the city.

“It might be something if we’ve had a few over the past couple of weekends, we might send them over there just to spend a bit more time in that neighborhood and kind of focus in on that,” Kanipe said.

The new unit will help alleviate some of the workload from the current patrol, something the department has been looking forward to since 2020.

Kanipe said the Criminal Suppression Unit was dissolved during the pandemic due to a lack of staff, and duties were dispersed among the remaining officers.

“They went back to patrol or other areas of the department where they were needed,” Kanipe said.

Kanipe said the department has been able to make major strides with recruitment in recent months thanks to a pay raise approval.

Last fall she said the department was down 10 officers, now they have just three openings.

“Since they’ve taken effect, we’ve been able to basically staff our department, recruit and retain,” Kanipe said.

Kanipe said it’s all about being proactive and forming a connection with the people they serve.

“It allows us like I said to concentrate crime trends and just to allow our patrol division to follow their duties, have less of a workload and just to help our community feel a little bit safer,” Kanipe said.