Chicago Magazine Covers Clearance Rate
- Only 132 of the 507 murder cases in the city last year were closed last year. That makes for a homicide clearance rate of 26 percent—the lowest in two decades, according to internal police records provided to Chicago. (The true picture is even worse; more on that later.) To put it another way: About three-quarters of the people who killed someone in Chicago in 2012 have gotten away with murder—so far, at least. “Those stats suggest a crisis,” says Arthur Lurigio, a criminologist at Loyola University Chicago.
It’s a crisis every bit as pressing as the city’s high homicide rate, because the former feeds the latter. If murderers aren’t apprehended, they’re free to kill again. If other bad guys get the feeling that there are few consequences for their actions, they too will be emboldened. “The word has to be out [on the street] that the cases are not being cleared,” Lurigio says.
26%? We thought one-third was bad. A quarter is even worse.
- Given the record low clearance rate last year, more than 30 police sources, including current and former top commanders and 15 detectives, agreed to talk about the problem. These interviews—combined with the internal police data provided to Chicago—reveal a detective force that is undermanned and overextended, struggling against reluctant prosecutors and a notorious no-snitch code. Last year’s department-wide consolidation and reorganization, initiated by Superintendent Garry McCarthy, has made a bad situation even worse. As one South Side detective put it: “It’s a perfect storm of shit.”
That is quite the understatement.
The article explains in detail how Detective Areas were closed, manpower scattered across unfamiliar neighborhoods, and a complete lack of promoting detectives hamstrung the D-unit over the course of years. J-Fled is quoted along with Tommy Byrne (he loves the reorganization by the way) and numerous anonymous detectives. We haven't heard the clearance rate this year, but we're sure anything above 30% will be touted as brilliant planning by McConsolidation and his staff.