Chicago’s Homicide Clearance Rate Drops After Years of Improvement

Chicago’s Homicide Clearance Rate Drops After Years of Improvement

Chicago has been the poster city for violence in America over the last decade or two. And after chipping away at a persistently low homicide clearance rate, the number of murders solved by Chicago police has dropped in 2020, department officials said Monday.

The city has finally seen a reasonable drop, from 50.3% solved in 2019 to 44.5% this year. This info comes after three years of improvement. And years of senseless killings, shootings, and other violent crimes. 

Even though it’s commendable, the reversal is also happening at an unprecedented moment, with violence spiking across the country in the wake of both the pandemic and national protests over policing, leaving experts predicting other cities will see dips in clearance rates as well.

Even with the decline, Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan pointed out on Monday, that the 2020 rate still puts Chicago police ahead of its 2016 rate of about 29%. Numbers that are a positive light for residents who have lost faith in this aspect of fighting the crime issue. 

He also noted that the total number of murders solved so far this year, 329, is the most in one year since 2005, crediting structural changes as well as investments in technology. In a statement, he said, “So far, 329 murders have been cleared, more than the department has solved in 15 years,” adding “Something changed.”

A lot of the decline is attributed to the department receiving grant money over the last couple of years to open technology hubs at all five of its detective areas, improving, for example, the ability to download and absorb video and cellphone evidence.

Residents hope this trend continues. The city is ready for a breath of fresh air and years of declined violence. A trend that needs to happen in various cities across the country. 

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