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Cleveland police, struggling to solve homicides, create temporary tip line

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Posted at 5:09 PM, Aug 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-13 15:30:03-04

Cleveland police confirmed Thursday what News 5 first told you months ago — that they struggle to solve homicides. 

So far this year, arrests have been made in less than half of the city's 70 murders. 

After admitting their numbers aren't good, the police chief announced the creation of a temporary tip line and plans to "revamp" the department's homicide unit. 

Cleveland police quickly tracked down and arrested the two men accused of shooting a 4-year-old boy in the head on Interstate 90 Sunday night. 

But during the news conference Thursday, Police Chief Calvin Williams admitted man victims of violent crime wait for justice. 

The department solved just 47 percent of homicides so far this year.

"And that is not where we want to be as a city," said Chief Willams. 

News 5 first told you about the city's low solve rate in May. 

Our investigation uncovered how Cleveland's homicide solve rate dropped dramatically starting in 2013.

That year, not even a quarter of cases were solved. By comparison, the national rate hovers around 60 percent. 

So why are Cleveland's rates so low?

"Well, If I knew that, we would definitely bump that solve rate up real quickly," Chief Williams said. 

About a year ago he asked for help, commissioning a well-known police organization to review the homicide unit. So, what did it recommend? The chief wouldn't give specifics. 

"But I can tell you, for the most part, it really involves, um, assistance from our community," he said. 

And that is why the city is setting up a tip line today from 1 to 5 p.m. You're asked to call if you have any information about any unsolved crime. The phone number to the line is 216-664.3673. Calls after 5 p.m. should be directed to the Cleveland Division of Police non-emergency number at 216-621-1234 or CrimeStoppers at 216-252-7463.

The mayor and the chief stressed callers will remain completely anonymous.