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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Chicago Woes—Murders Up, Clearance Rate Down

When it comes to crime, Chicago continues to trend in the wrong direction. Whereas the city’s crime rate is higher than average, the homicide clearance rate is far lower. Nationally in 2015, 61.5 percent of murder cases resulted in an arrest. In Chicago, that figure was a paltry 25 percent. Economist, researcher and author John R. Lott Jr. has a few ideas why. 

Lott blames the city for putting politics ahead of policing and, in an article for National Review, cites three changes implemented by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel that have led to a rise in crime. Emanuel disbanded gang task forces, removed detective bureaus from high-crime districts and forced police to fill out mountains of paperwork with each stop they made. The unsurprising result—more unsolved crimes and lower arrest rates. 

To begin addressing the problem, Lott advises Chicago politicians to stop pointing the finger everywhere but at themselves. The first step is to revisit policies that are exacerbating the problem.