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National

As Chicago murders surge, detectives dwindle

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Opening sequence

National

As Chicago murders surge, detectives dwindle

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COMING UP:As Chicago murders surge, detectives dwindle

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Transcript

00:00:00
>> Murder in Chicago are on track to hit the highest level in almost 2 decades with more shootings and homicides than any other american city. But as police trying to combat gang violence, curb the flows of illegal weapons, and tally the body count they face another hurdle. A surge in crime is falling on a shrinking team of investigators.
00:00:18
The number of detectives in Chicago's Police Department has dropped by more than a quarter over the last 8 years. From 1252 to 922. A recently retired detective told Reuters quote, you get so many cases you cannot do an honest investigation on three quarters of them. Guys are trying to investigate one homicide and they're sent out the next day on a brand new homicide or a double.
00:00:38
That workload may be showing up in the department's so-called clearance rate, the proportion of murders solved in the given year. In 2015 the national average was 63% but Chicago Police cleared under half of the city's murders. Not only does that leave killers free to kill again, potentially fueling an epidemic of gang violence, but unsolved murders, particularly when the victims are poor and African-American, can leave residents feeling their lives don't matter enough to properly investigate.
00:01:03
Further fraying already volatile relations between black residents and police. The CPD already under federal investigation for its use of lethal force. In an e-mail to Reuter's Chicago's Chief of Detectives said the department is taking steps to restore public trust, increase the number of detectives, and provide greater resources for detectives to do their jobs more effectively.