In its article on Kansas City homicides, “Half of 2016 KCMO homicides cleared or solved,” KSHB missed the larger story. The real story isn’t the clearance rate. The real story is the homicide rate.
The clearance rate has less to with the competency of the KCPD than it does with the sheer volume of homicides in Kansas City. In 2016 New York City’s 8.5 million people committed 330 homicides. Kansas City’s 450,000 committed 127. The short of it is this: in Kansas City you were seven times more likely to be murdered than you were in New York City.
New York City may have had nearly three times as many homicides as Kansas City, but it had more than twenty times as many police officers to handle those killings. In sum, the NYPD had seven times more officers per homicide than the KCPD.
Although the nationwide clearance rate in 2015 was 61.5 percent, the clearance rate in America’s murder capital, Chicago, was only 37 percent. The volume of crime appears to have more effect on clearance than any other factor.
One more scary thought: the murder rate in Kansas City in 2016 was just a shade less than it was in Chicago.
In Kansas City last year, there was one homicide per every 3743 people. In Chicago, one for every 3598 people. In other words, Chicago is only 4 percent more lethal. There is no solace in that.