DETROIT — The alarming 2009 Detroit homicide rate has dramatically decreased in the past three months, and investigators are closing double the cases, announced Mayor Dave Bing and Detroit Police Chief Warren Evans at a news conference Monday.
During the third quarter of 2009, there were 96 criminal homicides compared to 125 in the second quarter, which was already up 50 percent.
During the third quarter DPD closed 60 percent of its cases, which is line with the national average. However, the homicide closure rate during the first two quarters of 2009 was at just 27 percent. The homicide count to date for 2009 is at 296.
A homicide file is created after the medical examiner determines there was visible trauma to a body and an investigation is launched.
If the death is deemed a suicide or a justifiable homicide, which is killing by a peace office in the line of duty or the killing of a felon during the commission of a felony by a private citizen, it is then dropped from the homicide files.
Bing appointed Evans when he took office in May, and launched several initiatives to combat crime in the city. “We made it a priority to focus on data, target crimes and criminals more effectively and work cooperatively with our community. These numbers reflect that commitment,” said Bing.
Since being appointed, Evans has added 20 additional officers to its Gang Enforcement Unit; assigned more officers to a Special Response Team, which has helped close more cases; established the Ticket & Tow program; and developed and implemented Project Safe Passage, which is a public safety component to Bing’s Safe Routes to Schools initiative.
“Protecting citizens is the most important service a government provides. There is nothing I take more seriously,” Mayor Bing said. “I am encouraged by this progress but I recognize much work remains to make Detroit the city we all want it to be.”
Evans added that even though the homicide numbers are promising, there are still challenges ahead.
“The numbers show that we can make a difference, but we still have far too many shootings and far too many homicides in our city. That remains as unacceptable to me today as it was in July,” said Evans.