MPD's plan to tackle low homicide clearance rate

MPD's plan to tackle low homicide clearance rate

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis homicide detectives are getting help from other specialized units to investigate deadly crimes.

Instead of new hires, other detectives from the gang and violent crime units already on staff are now helping in homicide investigations.

Back in October, FOX13 reported MPD's homicide clearance rate was 57%. That's when Police Director Mike Rallings said he wanted to hire more homicide detectives.

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"We already did it once," he said. "We moved up 22, and we actually talked yesterday about bringing the numbers up."

Now two months later, FOX13 asked the director about the current status and learned that no new detectives have been added to the force since October, but homicide detectives will get help from other specialized units.

"The multi-agency unit and violent crime unit will be called out to assist our homicide detectives," Rallings said.

The problem is under staffing, which is why Rallings is pushing for city council to relax the residency requirement.

"We are not adequately staffed in any of our units in any of our bureaus, but we definitely look at homicide as the most important," he told FOX13.

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The director said this type of collaboration is working for now.

Rallings said, "We don't get caught up in if your jacket says homicide, VCU or MGU. They are all detectives.  They are great investigators."

Charlotte Marks lost her brother Father's Day 2017.

"It is still unsolved.  He was killed I want to say execution-style," she told FOX13.

Marks said she supports Memphis Police but wants her bothers killer caught.

One guy that was on my brother's case, you know they work too much.  They are working double time. They are working two shifts," Marks said.

According to MPD's Public Information Officer, there are currently a total of 26 investigators assigned to the Homicide Bureau in addition to 2 part-time investigators and a part-time investigative analyst.

FOX13 will continue to follow MPD's homicide clearance rate to see if this new strategy is working.