1/5/14

Don't Get Murdered in Brooklyn

You would think, with the urban crime rate at a historic low, the New York City Police Department would be solving more cases, but that's not what's happening.  As the city's crime rate has fallen, the number of cold cases has risen.

In 48% of of murder investigations, the NYPD has made no arrests.

The NYPD's case closure rate now averages 70%, and the rate is falling. In 2000, the NYPD solved 533 murders; in 2012, it solved 314 -- a drop of 41%.

Retiring NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, who presided over that 41% drop in the solved murder rate, told the Daily News he didn't see a problem.

The Detectives Endowment Association attributes the NYPD's anemic closure rates to staffing shortages, saying that about 3,000 veteran NYPD detectives retired just after 9/11; that 800 detectives have been pulled into the NYPD's counter-terrorism unit; and that detectives who used to work only major felonies are now working everything down to identity theft and cell-phone grabs.

Brooklyn has 77 open murder cases, with 10 out of 12 cases unsolved in East Flatbush's 67th Pct.,  9 out of 13 unsolved in Crown Heights' 77th Pct., and 8 out of 17 unsolved in East New York's 75th Pct.

At the 63rd Pct. in Flatbush, which has one of the city's lowest ratios of detectives to homicide cases, just 12 detectives are handling a caseload of roughly 1,500 (murder + every other crime).  Most Manhattan precincts, by comparison, have 5-25 detectives available to assign to every murder case.

In 86% of the cases solved by the NYPD, the victim was white, as compared to 45% involving a black victim and 56% a Hispanic victim.  NYPD insiders attribute the racial differential to the NYPD's Manhattan bias.  Whiter-than-the-outer-boroughs Manhattan has more detectives and more media coverage per murder case.

It's "just a fact", said one NYPD veteran, that the more cops you assign to a murder investigation, the more likely the case will be solved.

The article from the Daily News.

More from the Daily News.

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